I am thrilled to share that my somewhat niche but groundbreaking bachelor’s thesis titled “Food waste into crafting material: Case Fiskars” is now publicly accessible. You can find it in the Aalto University’s archive, Aaltodoc.
As an industrial designer with a focus on sustainable design, I am always seeking opportunities to meld creativity and sustainability. This search led me to collaborate with Fiskars Group, a well-respected global brand known for their innovative home and garden products. This commission for my BA thesis material study marked the beginning of a unique project that pushed the boundaries of conventional design and waste management practices. The thesis was meant to be a proof of concept but collaborating with Fiskars enabled me to explore and refine the potential of using food waste to create a crafting material.
The goal was ambitious: to develop a household-friendly bio-based recycling material. We were not just introducing a new crafting material, but also inspiring a shift in attitudes towards waste management and recycling. Bringing it through making user experiences better.
Sustainable Design: A New Perspective on Waste
Traditionally, waste, particularly food waste, has been seen as a problem. But what if we viewed it as a solution? This shift in perspective was the foundation of my research. I aimed to transform food waste from a problem to a crafting resource, presenting it not as rubbish, but as an undervalued asset with untapped potential. And utilizing it there where it forms whilst following the waste utilization hierarchy better than currently.
Uncovering the Potential of Food Waste
The ultimate goal of my thesis was to create a new crafting material from food waste – something that could be done in households without specialized equipment. I looked into the most common types of food waste, their properties, and different processing methods. After countless iterations, I was able to develop a much more simple and faster, user-friendly method to transform waste like orange peels, carrot skins, and waste paper into crafting material.
The Birth of a Crafting Revolution
What emerged from the study was a practical guideline and recipe for recycling food waste into crafting material. This significant achievement not only simplifies the manufacturing process of bio-based and waste materials, but also encourages safe, additive-free utilization of food waste. The simplicity of the process is key. By making it easy and engaging, we can inspire more people to participate in waste recycling and contribute to sustainable living.
As an industrial designer, it is gratifying to see how design can be leveraged to create a positive impact. The recycling material recipe I developed can be seen as a toolkit for creativity and sustainability. It allows anyone to transform what was once seen as waste into a source of inspiration for crafting. It’s about more than just recycling; it’s about fostering a paradigm shift in how we perceive and manage waste.
Collaborating with Fiskars has been an enlightening and rewarding experience. It has affirmed my belief in the role of sustainable design in paving the way towards a greener future. As we continue to challenge the status quo and redefine waste, I am excited about the endless possibilities that lie ahead.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope that my study will inspire you to view waste in a new light, and I look forward to sharing more about sustainable design in the future!