Jeongwon Ji created a new tactile bio-plastic for his MA Design Products final year project at London's Royal College of Art (RCA). He made the material by extracting chitin (a natural polymer extracted from the shell of Chinese mitten crabs) and then mixing it with water and glycerine.
The material may take longer to produce than conventional plastics, but this is trumped by it being completely non-toxic and therefore beneficial to both the planet and to those manufacturing it. Ji showed samples alongside concept products highlighting the potential use of the material as a casing for electronics. An alarm clock, wi-fi router and humidifier were all encased in the tactile, natural-looking material.
As consumers become more aware of the impact of harmful chemicals on both their health and the environment, many are looking for safer options. For more on this, see Stylus report The Non-Toxic Home. For more emerging talent from this year’s RCA Graduate Show, see our Editor’s Highlights report.