sustainability, circularity, natural resources

Anicca – the sense of impermanence

Juni Sun Neyenhuys, Malu Lücking
Semesterprojekt: bios logos
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina

Cooperation Partner: Technical University of Berlin, Polymer Technology and Polymer Physics Department:
Dr. Konstanze Schäfer, Dipl. Ing. Andreas Salomon, Prof. Dr. Auhl

Does longevity equals value?
Does permanence testify to quality?
Does material consumption inevitably mean having to leave traces behind?
Is the system subject to a fundamental error of thought?

The question is what remains after we have replaced our cell phone with the newest model or exchanged our clothes for the latest trends. Synthetically produced materials such as polyester leave traces and problems, not least because of their almost unlimited lifespan. At the moment when the life of the material exceeds the life of the product, material remnants arise – in other words, waste.

Since the Industrial Revolution, regular consumption has become part of our western lifestyle. It is hard to imagine that most people will embark on a radical change in the production of goods and purchasing behaviour in the coming years. So if you can’t extend the life of products because the need for consumption remains unbroken, we should try to shorten the life of our materials.

The project Anicca deals theoretically and practically with the positive characteristics of material instability. This is done through interdisciplinary research and design with the biological raw material alginate, which is obtained from brown algae. They require neither arable land nor irrigation, as they grow in salty coastal waters. There they also help reducing the nutrients surplus caused by agriculture and above all our CO2 emissions. Furthermore, they grow very quickly. The biodegradability and natural circular capacity of the yarn spun from alginate are the focus of the research. The design process experiments with the specific application possibilities on the basis of different processing methods. The colours of the yarns are created by pigments obtained from microalgae.

The project Anicca is a continuation of the project AL G. – Transformation of the Brown Algae by Juni Neyenhuys developed at the kunsthochschule weissensee berlin, greenlab – Laboratory for Sustainable Design Strategies (Mentors: Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Susanne Schwarz-Raacke, Prof. Dr. Lucy Norris, Essi Johanna Glomb).