Milan Design Week 4.-9.4.2017.
Via Clerici 10
CHEMARTS collaboration and DWoC research project will be part of the NAKUNA exhibition organized by Aalto University Department of Design.
Designing Biomaterials for the Future
CHEMARTS is a long-term collaboration since 2011 between two Aalto University schools, The School of Chemical Engineering and The School of Arts, Design and Architecture. CHEMARTS courses and other activities focus on biomaterials, especially on wood-based cellulose. The main aim is to inspire future designers and material scientists to work together, and to create new ideas and materials based on sustainability.
CHEMARTS has also stimulated multidisciplinary research projects like DWoC, Design Driven Value Chains in the World of Cellulose. DWoC is focused on finding new and innovative applications for cellulosic materials by combining design thinking and design-driven prototyping with a strong competence in technology development. The DWoC research project is funded by Tekes, The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, and the partners are Aalto University, Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Vaasa.
Cellulose- what is that?
Cellulose, which mainly comes from plants (also from bacteria and algae), is one of the most abundant materials found in nature. It is a structural component of plant cell walls, and, together with lignin and hemicellulose, forms the structure of wood. The combination of renewability, recyclability and tunability together with new end-use opportunities makes cellulose the potential super material of the future.
Historically, wood cellulose has had a remarkable role in Finnish industry, though mainly for high volume and low value products. The annual growth of wood biomass in Finland is 104 million m3 and about one fifth of this is not brought into use. This equates to about four million additional tonnes of cellulose per year. If this additional tonnage could be refined into value-added cellulose products and if those products had an estimated price similar to that of cotton, then the value of that additional business for Finland could be worth five billion euros per year. However, we need to make sure that we are using our precious forests in a smart and responsible way.
All material samples on this exhibition have been invented and produced by CHEMARTS students or DWoC researchers.
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