FADFEST - Festival de les Arts i del Disseny
FADFEST - Festival de les Arts i del Disseny
FADFEST - Festival de les Arts i del Disseny

The Materials Farm. Designing New Materials From Agriculture, Food and Living Organisms

The model according to which we extract raw materials and subject them to complex processes to obtain materials has a limited duration. Scarce resources, dependence on oil, and the problem of waste form an outlook where designers, biologists, chemists and other professionals begin to join their knowledge to create a new model around which to build a more responsible industry and market.

The first of their efforts is directed to the most primary activity: food. The magnitude of food and agriculture industry provides a natural opportunity for the development of new materials from surplus, by-products and derivative waste from food production.

It also represents a new approach to nature and its biological processes as a model for action: who has designed a more efficient, attractive and sustainable packaging than the skin of an orange? Fungi, bacteria and other living agents are becoming the authors of a new generation of materials.

Materfad Barcelona presents this reflection during the “The Materials Farm” meeting on Thursday, June 9th (18h), in which we will discover different experiences in the development of new materials from agriculture, food and biological processes alongside a number of local and international designers and researchers. Register: thematerialsfarm.eventbrite.com

This board of experts will also run an experimental and participatory workshop that will take place on the 11th of June in the framework of FADfest’s main event, the General Rehearsal. It will be a gastronomic event that will test the city from the point of view of food sustainability and it will assess its capabilities. At the same time, and from the perspective of materials, we will emulate chefs in order to design our own recipes and discover the other “materializations” that food offers.


Mitimeth | Achenyo Idachaba | Nigeria
The infestation of invasive aquatic weeds has been a ‘here-to-stay’ problem across Nigeria for over three decades now. Achenyo Idachaba chose to see and seek a viable local solution which could easily be deployed: creating handcrafted products from the aquatic weeds by communities whose livelihoods depend on the waterways.

MitiMeth Woven Hyacinth Coasters and Placemats

Digestive Food project | Chloé Rutzerveld | Netherlands
Our body digests and absorbs nutrients in a specific order, at a specific place and with specific digestive enzymes and juices. By designing food in service of the digestive system, health issues and world food problems can be solved. Food should be build up, with the help of digital fabrication methods, of very small particles existing out of 3 layers added in order of digestion.

Digestive Food 2015

Bon Aprofit | Clara Balmaña | Spain
«Bon Aprofit» is a project of nutrition awareness that aims to bring children and parents into the world of healthy eating. This results in practical and playful workshops, where children are invited to create their own seasonal dishes made from edible fruits and vegetables.



Leather from animals’ digestive tract | Mandy den Elzen | Netherlands
Mandy den Elzen uses the organs and unused parts of animals to create art objects and organ leather. For the artist it is all about understanding where material comes from.Why using only the skin to make leather? Both skin and organs come from the same animal and should be considered just as useful and aesthetic.


Farm materials | Pere Llorach | Spain
The growing trend of Urban Agriculture entails the generation of new organic wastes in cities. What can we do with them? Using agricultural wastes (i.e tomato plant waste) as byproducts to produce new materials and products (i.e. insulation materials, biochar or textiles) may contribute to fix and store CO2 emissions and avoid natural resources depletion.

AGF Class 3 | Renee Boute | Netherlands
Fruits and vegetables are divided into three different classes. Class 3 products have a deviation of more than 10 percent of the ideal image and are not offered to consumers.. After collecting them from several nurseries Renee succeeded to produce handmade paper made from various fruits and vegetables. This has resulted in paper sheets that can be distinguished by their own unique colour, fragrance and texture.

AGF Class 3 'Bound back'

A Matter of Time | Stefano Parisi | Italy
In recent years, new materials are emerging through a Do It Yourself approach encouraged by Open source behaviors and trans-disciplinary design. Among the so-called DIY materials a novel composite material based on mycelium and agricultural waste appears to have a strong potential and might be a perfect candidate to experiment with through an experience-based method.

a matter of time Stefano Parisi bowls 2


decafé | Raúl Laurí | Spain
«decafé» is a new patented material made from used coffee grounds. The process consists of using the coffee grounds, mixing them with a natural binding substance and undergoing the result to a pressure and temperature based transformation process.