Hannah Elisabeth Jones
Bio-Based Materials in Design: A Practice-Based Study in Creating Alternative Single-Use Materials from Local Plant Fibres, Sourced Within North-West England.
Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Kristina Niedderer (Design)
Dr Sally Morfill (Design)
Dr Kirstie Andrews (Science and Engineering)
Bio-based materials are typically made from renewable substances derived from biomass, for example, mycelium (fungus composite), casein (protein from milk) and pineapple leather (a vegan alternative made from pineapple leaves). This practice-based research builds on existing knowledge of bio-based materials to investigate how they can become increasingly functional alternatives to single-use synthetic and wood-based packaging materials, whilst responding to local landscapes and seasonality.
Before the Westernised age of material consumption (Wahl, 2016) local landscapes and their resources were typically managed with a longer-term basis in mind. Materials were often traditionally made with low impact resources and manipulated with slow hand techniques. This practice-based research supports these principles and proposes a soil-led approach for creating design materials, whilst assessing the properties and potential applications of locally sourced fibres, such as meadow grass.
This research provides a timely contribution to knowledge in material traceability and proposes material testing and prototype development as an educational resource. This research offers a progressive regenerative model which utilises foraged fibres from the North West of England – but also proposes that this model could be transferable for other regions with other plant species.
Wahl, D. C. (2016) Designing regenerative cultures. Axminster, England: Triarchy Press.