2019/7 design magazine

Get inspired by the latest innovations, like MarinaTex, Energy Observer, Coral, Rapid tuberculosis diagnostic kit and Gameboard 1


MarinaTex was created by product designer Lucy Hughes as a final year project. Hughes’s main inspiration came from the claim that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight, and therefore, she developed the interest to solve this problem. However, Hughes explains that her journey didn’t start with the plastic problem, but by looking into the fishing industry.

By utilising open source resources, Hughes started investigating various organic binders from the sea such as chitozan and agar. As the result of thus very interesting research a new material has been made.

This biodegradable material designed to serve as an alternative to single-use plastic. It is translucent and stronger than LDPE plastic, made from red algae and organic waste from the fishing industry.

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Rapid tuberculosis diagnostic kit

Tuberculoses is one of the world’s 3 major infectious diseases alongside AIDS and malaria. It kills some 1.5 million people each year. Of all TB patients, 86% are living in developing countries.

TB infections have a serious impact on the societies and economic activities of these countries due to its powerful transmission and high medical costs imposed on patients.

All you need to do is just to drop urine to the cartridge. The device detects the disease by generating a large silver particle around markers which is a bond of a component specific to mycobacterium TB bacteria.

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Energy Observer

This is the first vessel in the world to both generate and be powered by hydrogen. Energy Observer is a floating laboratory, destined to test an innovative energy architecture in extreme conditions, to prove its feasibility onshore.

The energy system encompasses 3 renewable energy sources (sun, wind and hydropower) and two types of storage (li-ion batteries for the short-term and hydrogen for the long-term). The ship can produce hydrogen directly onboard, through seawater electrolysis. The goal is to test and optimise these technological bricks, in order to have them working in harmony, and aim toward total energy autonomy.

Energy Observer is an odyssey around the world on the search for innovative solutions for the environment. Six years, 50 countries, and 101 stopovers, to go and meet people who are designing tomorrow’s future, and to prove that a cleaner world is possible.

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It looks like a strange idea from the forst glance to have a wall mounted algae farm at home, but why not? Algae are efficient CO2 scrubbers, NASA uses algae as dietary supplements on long-term space missions. It is in fact ideal food for mankind because it has rich and well-balanced nutritional content.

Well there are some problems with the algae’s image. We usually tend to associate algae with negative feelings such as gross, mossy, and slimy. Designer Hyunseok An believes that that is because of their surrounding. The Coral has been designed to change our perspective to algae. The 16 cells in the frame are enough to grow and eat algae every day. Each cell has a biweekly cycle, enough to replenish after harvesting. Grow your own food at home, it’s a sustainable alternative to supply your nutritional diets.


Frammento is a project by designer Paolo Gentile with the objective of sourcing end-of-life tires and bring them back onto the road.

Paolo Gentile: “I was inspired while hanging out at a children’s playground. I became intrigued by the floor material and after some search and realizing the low cost of the rubber pellets, I started to think of new applications for it. After analyzing the properties of the material such as flexibility, impact resistance, and traction I thought a skateboard could be a great product on which to try to apply the material since the board requires all these characteristics.”

In-flight meal tray you can eat

Each year almost 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste is estimated to be generated on passenger flights. The design studio PriestmanGoode decided to take matters into their own hands.

Each element of this tray is either partially edible, reusable, soluble or biodegradable. They are made from coffee grains and husks mixed with a lignin binder.

The miscellaneous food containers that fit into the tray have been made from wheat bran. Banana leaf or algae have been combined with rice husk to create lids for side dishes like salad. Whereas a wafer has been used as a dessert lid, hence the materials symbolically reflect the food.

Instead of having several pieces of single-use cutlery, the handy ‘spork’- a combination of a fork and spoon- made from coconut wood has been adopted.

Flowing water, standing time

This robotic clothing designed by King Gaoout is made of silicone, glass, organza. Some electronic sensors react to the chromatic spectrum in its surrounding. The collection was inspired by neurologist Oliver Sacks’ novel “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”.

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Gameboard 1

Designed for gamers, streamers, families, game stores and libraries, and anyone who loves playing games with others. Gameboard 1 merges physical and digital gaming to enhance your play and let everyone focus on what matters: having a great time.

It is aiming to change the way we play games together – a device to teach new players faster, digitise set-up and scorekeeping and access an unlimited-play game library.

On-demand glue

Researchers at the University of Sussex have developed a glue which can unstick when placed in a magnetic field. Products otherwise destined for landfill, could now be dismantled and recycled at the end of their life.

Currently, items like mobile phones, microwaves and car dashboards are assembled using adhesives. It is a quick and relatively cheap way to make products but, due to problems dismantling the various materials for different recycling methods, most of these products will now still be destined for landfill.

The living bridge Amsterdam

The living bridge is one part of a project with a theme: “Expanding universes on shrinking footprints”. Another part is an urban “Green Loop”, a strategy for the fast growing Amsterdam. The “Green Loop” proposes a 16km long circular park around the historic city and connects it on two points with Amsterdam-Noord. It merges all big central parks into one large park structure. This contributes to animal migration, biodiversity, a healthy lifestyle and offers a significant heat and rain buffer for the city center. This can be interpreted as an allegory to the historic city wall.

The “Living Bridge” which is one of the connections over the IJ is a new hybrid building type and a statement for the future of the built environment. Users can choose multiple ways of how to cross: through the park, indoors, with or without a slope. Housing adds social safety to the connection.

More about this idea from Dominik Philipp Bernatek

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