Concept & Design
Fascinated by living and natural materials for product design, I’ve made a material out of bone glue, calcium and a little bit of quartz. I have done research on these materials and made a product with it: a completely compostable urn.
I started my research on petroleum, a mineral source that only can be used once. Petroleum is the basic ingredient for plastic and other products we all use. I concluded that there are many other materials we can use to make a substrate for plastic. Mammal bones contain calcium and glue and could be the new part of a new future material; the two materials need each other to form a strong structure.
Calcium is part of the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which represents Earths minerals. Calcium is on scale 2 out of 10, not very strong. I used a little bit of quartz – which is 7 on the scale-, our Earth’s crust contains 12% of quartz, which is quite a lot! I did tests on several levels to discover the qualities of the material. I tried several production which can be used, like rotomolding or cast molding because the material is liquid while preparing.
As part of the research, I designed a product, which reflects the qualities of the material: an urn. Existing burial urns are not very aesthetic in my opinion, and not compostable. I think people have to see, feel and experience the beauty of this material that could be absorbed by Mother Earth.
The urn is a double conical shaped form represents the dichotomy between life and death, the body and soul and the sky and the earth. The urn can be buried and is dissolved by natural soil organisms within 5 months. Those who are left behind can choose if they want to give the deceased back to Mother Nature or keep them close to their hearts.
For more information download the concept poster. Concept Poster