Over the past 3 years Green Lab has been involved in an ongoing european funded project – Open Design & Manufacturing (OD&M). This project has involved a consortium of 10 other institutions including Higher education, Businesses and Maker spaces, working together on projects that focus on knowledge exchange and the notion of open design and manufacturing.
What is OD&M:
‘OD&M is a Knowledge Alliance dedicated to create and support communities of practices around the Open Design & Manufacturing paradigm, making the most of openness, sharing and collaboration to create new value chains of innovation in design and manufacturing oriented to the social good.
We are a community of students, university professors, researchers, makers, entrepreneurs and OD&M practitioners distributed across Europe and China. We pursue multi-disciplinarity, horizontal collaboration, challenge-based working and collective discovery as the salient features of empowering learning environments leading to social innovation in design and production.’
Other institutions that have taken part:
University of Florence, Lama, CSM, University of Deusto, University of Arts the London, Technalia, Tongji University, WSB University, FabLab Lodz, P2P Foundation
Projects that Green Lab has developed as part of the consortium:
Growing space + Recycled plastics project
We initially took part in the Growing Space project exhibited at Arts Work of the Future at the Tate Exchange, a project developed in collaboration with students & staff from the UAL Digital Maker Collective. Following on from this we ran a co-design workshop based brief to build upon the initial ideas generated for the TATE exchange exhibit. The second stage of this project investigated open source and flat pack furniture, end of life materials, urban agriculture and sustainable food systems. After multiple co-design workshops where ideas of accessiblity, modularity, sustainability and feasibility were all explored, alongside various idea generation and prototyping exercises the group focused on working with recycled food safe plastics to develop planters that could be used to grow food hydroponically.
Future Algae Brief
We ran a 12 week live brief with 12 students from MA Industrial Design, UAL. This was an open design for sustainable living project which explored how open design-led processes can be used to develop future products, materials, new processes or services that use algae as the core material. The project gave students the chance to work hands on with algae as a material as well as speculate its future potential. We developed a temporary Material Lab at Green Lab for the students to utilise during this period, conducting material research and experimentation.
Material Lab & Library
After the success of the Future Algae brief – we saw the potential need for a material laboratory enabling students and designer makers to work in the realm of material research. We built the lab from old industrial kitchen equipment and developed a messy space for experimentation that could easily be cleaned at the end of each use. With future materials and the development of open source recipes becoming a growing area of concern for many practitioners we see the material lab as a vital space for a community of like minded designers to grow and collaborate. The material library is a catalogue of various sustainable material samples, collected from both small scale makers and industry. The library is a tool to inform, inspire and encourage users to consider material choices at the starting point of designing a product.
Find out more
With the launch of our Material Lab we offered 3 students access to the space as part of an open source research residency.
Midushi was an MA Industrial Design student at CSM, UAL whilst taking part in the research residency. She utilised the opportunity to work on her project – A Waste Project – using waste eggshells and chicken feathers from the poultry industry to produce biodegradable single use tableware. Frustrated by the single use plastics epidemic Midushi combined her waste resources with various algaes to develop 100% organic composite materials. At the end of her residency she shared the recipe & method she had developed whilst using the material lab.
Riina Oun, an MA Material Futures student from CSM, UAL, took part in our research residency with the aim to develop a vegan leather alternative. With an established career as leather glove maker, Riina wanted to find a more sustainable material that could offer the same properties as gloving leather. Using bacterial cellulose to grow her own material Riina utilised the lab to grow large quantities of Kombcuha Scoby, which was then turned into a composite material by adding a bio binder. Riina shared the recipe and method she developed whilst using the material lab via our wiki.
Valentina was an MA Textile Design student from the RCA whilst taking part in the research residency. She utilised the opportunity to continue working on her final project – mychrome – growing mycelium with agricultural waste to create interior surface panels. Mycelium is the root system of mushrooms and can be grown on waste organic substrates and it offers great properties for both thermo insulation and sound insulation. Mycelium requires a sterilised and controlled environment to grow, which the material lab offered. Valentina shared the recipe and method she developed whilst utilising the material lab via our wiki.