BA(Hons) 3D Design
Brighton University, Faculty of Arts
Masters Product Design
L’ECAL/Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne
I have explored a new type of resin material. With water and heat, some bio-resin begins to foam and expand. I refined a number of ways of altering the material; bio-based polymers from natural oils, such as sunflower seed or linseed (flax). They are an ideal alternative to non-renewable resources.
These new materials attempt to match the desirable qualities of already existing and more harmful ones. Yet, they hold new characteristics and hidden potential. There is a relatively high cost associated with bio-resins. With research and development I have turned this resin into foam; it is a way to reduce the quantity of material needed.
I believe that many new applications lay undiscovered, as these materials continue to evolve and assume new roles. I have used a new linseed oil based resin. I have produced a number of products made from this foam and Flax fibre (Linum usitatissimum) reinforcement, to add strength and durability. This work exploits the potential of simple moulds. My products aim to be an intriguing step towards new material possibilities with bio-resin.
By not using these resins as the manufacturers had intended, I am attempting to stretch their material potential with tempting new possibilities. I have sought to reveal a type of foam with strength, both in structure, and in sustainability. Could this inspire a new visual aesthetic to remould and reimagine crafted objects?
Research project title:
UK and French Design and Craft may stir the viscous pour of bio-resin: Analysing factors slowing adoption of sustainable bio-resins
The Duo Lin project arose from the desire to create a practical product; to apply and demonstrate my process of turning different resins into foam
The primary goal was to control these processes with the use of simple moulds
As my understanding of the benefits of flax fibre, and the connection to Dragonkraft Europe's new linseed oil based resin, began to grow, I began to conceive a product that used one renewable resource - for virtually all of its parts
With the resin being flexible, and water resistant, I wanted to use it with woven flax reinforcement, as a bio-composite. Although durable, the outer structure would not be suitable for purpose without the dense foam inner core. These two elements were designed to be co-moulded by changing the core-half of the mould
It comes as two-part liquid resin and hardener. The resin will cure with ultra-violet light (as much a sunny day) and is made of '98% carbon-renewable content'. It is also toxicologicaly safe to work with at room temperature, unlike traditional epoxy resins
Understanding the potential of flax today is very important if we are to push in new and better directions with our choice of material
Experimentation - Understanding the material, perfecting the process, bioresin, flax, steam, gas & vacuum
The final outcome is comfortable but overall mass needs to be reduced. I am satisfied that the careful thought about process has helped me to deliver an early concept that could now be subjected to tests as I begin to search for funding opportunities to move forward with the material ideas
The first concept has been born well, the addition of needle-punched straps shows how versatile the flax plant really can be. Although the final object weighs-in at a fraction under 1,000g (three times that of the master), it was only my third sample to be released from the mould! This coupled with the fact that, the object can now be made by anyone with a correct ingredients list, plus an oven and some patience to knit or needle punch. Although I wish to continue developing this concept through testing and on to production, I enjoy the idea that it is accessible to
many people who are interested in the material
Spar is an interconnecting shape, used to make simple structures. These objects are elaborate samples, aimed at demonstrating the strength, weight, and a possible application of bio-resin foam. You may decide to assemble shelving, furniture or build with them. There is no better way to explore this material, than hands on
The 2012 PUMA Sustainable Design competition saw an entry from myself and fellow Brighton University Graduate, Chloe Meineck
, enter with our ideas for 'Kinetic Energy Recovery' (KERS) apparel
Research delved into piezoelectric textiles, capable of generating electricity, charging devices and the benefits this could bring to the user
Our aim was to understand the needs of the user, people we saw as 'Urban Nomads'; travellers who have a need to stay connected to modern networks, but can remain 'untethered' from demands to plug in to the grid
The brand has an excellent and forward thinking philosophy when it comes to fresh ideas and sustainable thinking
To find out more, please visit PUMA.COM/sustainability
with the image below
My foundation of research into functions of the body began as a series of curiosities; single elements of interest that beat with an irregularity until the form took shape that let me lead my build with some real passion.
Like multiple cardiomyocyte's, together they beat in unison to produce a familiarity of something we all know well, yet still so curious.
A self directed project studied the heart closely, delving into scientific journals, fiction from literature and film and more so of social curiosities.
The form directly references that of a human heart, choosing the structural and aesthetic value of carbon fiber for the exterior. The poignancy of the outer aesthetic was to visually communicate the nature of some of the strongest, durable tissues of the heart; Much the same as carbon strands- individually they are chaotic and delicate, whilst together and arranged they form cohesive structures with unique properties. The 2/2 twill weave of the carbon is well suited for compound curves of a delicate form, distributing forces effortlessly across the surface.
The concealed functions of the heart are concerned with providing a flow of warmth, circulating air like the the oxygenation of blood cells.
There remains one final function, looking into Eros
to establish connections between the physical and metaphysical processes associated with the our hearts. An intriguing community exists that experiment with pheromones. It is suggested that pheromones have profound influences on our lives, from the finest synthesized fragrances to the most humble or natural instincts, they trigger actions and reactions. The heart was used to infuse the air with a faintly detectable scent, with the possibility of instilling a calm and openness to the atmosphere.
Materials: Mild steel, Aluminium, Carbon Fiber, Upcycled fan heater internals
A one week project to create a stool set me thinking about what a stool is. The overriding feeling was to explore a process that, whilst appearing very controlled and constrained, could really capture a moment and have sense of narrative and purpose.
I recorded the impression of 20 people and their derrières in a single slab of clay. It was amusing and playful, everyone shared something, although they had no idea why.
The final form was placed into a simple mould, the focus simply being the joy of the process. I watched my father build our first house in Belize when I was just a boy. For something as mundane as mixing concrete, I take great pride in the things like this that I was taught.
Careful consideration about dimensions and material quantity, with a surprising amount of concrete used to fill the cubic capacity.
The result was a humble stool that has something personal to share with another 20 people, the cold hard concrete soon warms as the soft scalloped seat remains greeting and comfortable. The appearance is of a solid block gently eroded with use and time.
Materials: Concrete, Steel mesh reinforcement