Bast Fiber Boom: Is Biomaterial the Next Normal in the Design Process?

Eco & slow design are en vogue. But what does sustainable design actually consist of? Everything to do with functional and aesthetic biomaterial

biomaterial
Source & Copyright by Kovac Family

Author: Hanna Lina Werner

A large part of our furnishings and everyday objects consists of man-made materials such as plastic. And because such plastics are chemically derived from petroleum and are not biodegradable, they are neither sustainable nor environmentally friendly. Due to the lack of processing of many Fast Furniture Pieces, it even happens that chemicals escape and the Health endanger consumers. It is therefore clear: in the long term, plastics pose a threat to people, animals and ecosystems For this reason, more and more scientists are looking for architects, designers and companies for green material alternatives. More specifically, interest in biomaterials such as bast fibers is booming aesthetic sustainability to create.

What is biomaterial?

Biomaterials, or bio-based materials, consist of natural plant ingredients and are therefore also biodegradable. It may sound cryptic to some, but it's not - because everyone knows them. For example, paper and Wood probably the most well-known biomaterials that can look back on a long tradition of use. It is important that the extraction of the organic materials is based on renewable raw materials. For example from the flora. Most of the producers of biomass are namely plants from corn to rapeseed to trees. However, in light of the loss of biodiversity and the energy transition, there are important factors to consider:

  1. Availability and renewability of raw materials
  2. High demands on locality and biological, respectively biodynamic, cultivation
  3. Low energy consumption in cultivation
  4. Cultivation and processing in accordance with cycle-based usage concepts
  5. Zero tolerance for chemical-synthetic swell

Moreover, in terms of research, development and innovation, there are more and more Material innovations, the example on fruit waste based. This saves resources and circular economy and zero waste promote.

What are the advantages of organic materials?

The sustainability of biomaterials is their biggest pro. Due to their organic basis, they endanger neither Flora, nor the fauna of the environment. Especially because there is no waste. In addition, they are manufactured from available and fast-growing raw materials, so that active resource conservation is the focus of the production agenda for biomaterials. And since conscious producers in most cases even pursue a holistically sustainable strategy, a large proportion of the biodegradable materials come from more responsible, energy-efficient and sustainable sources ethical manufacturing.

Another plus point: organic forms, individual patterns and warm colors of the biomaterials result in one unique look. Each piece of biomaterials is thus a Unique and makes them particularly interesting for use in design processes. But consumers also benefit from the design factor of natural materials: Eco design radiates warmth, calm as well coziness and can be optimally combined due to the common natural origin of the different materials.

En Vogue: These are the top biomaterials to watch

Whether corn, dandelion or algae - there is a wide range of biomass for further processing into materials. However, focus architects and designers currently four top biomaterial trends:

  1. bast fibers
  2. Types of wood
  3. hemp and cork
  4. Innovative biomaterials: mycelium and algae

1. Bast fibers

Bast fibers are fibers contained in the so-called bast of various plants. For example in the jute plant. More and more manufacturers like Bast Fiber Tech are developing innovative processing techniques to process 100% natural, intact plant fibers into biodegradable fabric alternatives. And with the aim of meeting the critical need for sustainable alternatives to man-made fibers. Accordingly, the growth of the fibers already proceeds through advanced agricultural standards and practices. Controlled as well responsibly.

biomaterial

Source & Copyright by Bast Tech Fibre

Bast fibers are suitable for a wide range of product applications. For example, they are often processed into carpets, curtains or towels in the interior sector. But also in cosmetics- and household areas they have the potential to remove synthetic materials, for example in cotton wool Make Up, to replace.

2. Types of wood

Wood is the biomaterial with centuries of tradition. Timeless and durable. No wonder architects and designers use the material for both Sustainable Building and flexible living concepts also for interior design to use. Instead of consumption- and profit-oriented production, visionary design studios are rethinking, returning to nature and designing fascinating objects in the name of sustainability. For example, wood is becoming more and more popular 3D pressure zero waste houses used and biophilia and Planthroposcene bring organic substances into the indoor area.

biomaterials rattan

Source & Copyright by Kovac Family

A major advantage of the biomaterial is its availability. In particular, damaged wood is available in abundance and can be used in line with the circular economy Production of various items to be used. This counteracts the waste of valuable resources. Accordingly, fast-growing types of wood such as bamboo, raffia palm or rattan are particularly suitable for sustainable furnishing concepts, for example from Kovac Family or Atisan. Given the forest dieback in Germany and large parts of Europe and their quick availability, the use of Asian or African plants is often even more environmentally friendly than using local wood. Transparency along the entire supply chain is an absolute must to guarantee ethics and sustainability.

3. Hemp and Cork

Cork, Hemp and paper are also among the traditional biomaterials. While hemp fibers are obtained by breaking and rolling the stems of the plant, cork is obtained from the bark of the cork oak tree. In addition to its renewability and resistance, the biomaterial is characterized by its insulating properties. And is therefore often used as sustainable material in architecture and construction, for example to insulate walls. Due to its natural look and pleasant feel, it is technically particularly suitable as a floor covering.

Source & Copyright by ClassiCon

Hemp is also an insulating material. In combination with limestone, the fiber is often made into hempcrete and comes in the form of large panels as more sustainable building material for use. Its special advantage lies in the fact that hemp can bind carbon and thus has a negative effect CO2 balance Has. But hemp is also becoming increasingly popular when it comes to interior design - for example in the form of the Hemp Chair by Werner Aisslinger. Extra plus: Due to its both haptic and visual natural effect, the fabric creates a calming, warm room atmosphere.

4. Innovative biomaterials

While wood, hemp and cork are among the classics of biomaterials, there are more and more innovative alternatives such as mushroom mycelium or Algae. After mycelium promoted sustainable production, especially in the fashion cosmos, its use as a material for furnishings or buildings is now increasing. The leather-like surface of the innovation not only impresses visually, but also with its ability to bind CO2 and thus reduce emissions. A minimalist stylish example: The Myzel ceiling lamps by London designer Sebastian Cox.

biomaterial sebastian cox

Source & Copyright by Sebastian Cox

And algae can do that too CO2 footprint of an interior or an entire building, as they absorb and store carbon dioxide in the growth process. Researchers at Delft University of Technology and the University of Rochester are currently even going so far as to produce a biomaterial from microalgae that actively carry out photosynthesis and thus actively grow energy can contribute.

The future: where will biomaterial be used?

biomaterials are not only versatile, but also sustainable. Accordingly, they function as a trend-setting tool for designers and architects to steer the construction and furnishing industry into a greener future. Due to the ever-growing Zero Waste movement, consumer demand is also supporting this development and requires a cross-industry rethink. Biodegradable everyday objects instead of synthetic disposable products. Whether furniture, accessories, household textiles or clothing - it is to be hoped that biomaterials will be used more and more and forward-looking actors will use their creative scope to promote sustainability through design to promote.

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