University of Art Braunschweig
A fully decomposable light weight material for furniture making. Leggo my egg shell!
EGGO! is a material study in form of a stool based on egg shell. The seat is made out of 70% egg shells and the legs are made of costumable wood and makes each variation an individual item. EGGO! is fully decomposable and is made only out of environmentally friendly ingredients like casein, vinegar and starch. The form of EGGO! stands in contrast to an egg- symmetric and edgy. In analogy to Easter you can collect your used eggs and colorize them in any way you want.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The aim of the project was to create and design a fully composable chair or stool. It started as a project at the University of Art in Braunschweig and was supervised by Prof. Kerstin Kaczmar and Anna Badur.
The base of each stool should be a board of wood to go through the whole process of working with wood, but soon the different projects went into different directions and other materials were considered as well. The task for the students as a designer was to get into the topic wood and how it is connected. Screws, nails and other technologies were not allowed, because they would not as likely rotten than wood. Henceforth more clever ways to connect wood were needed and found.
From my point of view, even wood glue is not fully natural and therefore not the best way to connect wood without a bad conscience. At the beginning of the process it was all about the connection of wood, but in a later phase of the project it was about creating a new material that is enabled by wood to cope with everyday needs. It was important for me to reuse something and give it a new expression in an so far unkown context.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The project was accompanied by a vast amount of experiments and research. The inspiration came from another project of a student, that made bowls out of coffee grounds.
So I asked myself what else we throw away into the compost, can be used in a different way? With the project at the university, I wanted to take it to the extremes- making a chair out of egg shell!
The start of the research made a conversation with a chemistry professor at the Technical University in Braunschweig. I was told by Prof. Petra Mischnik that the chalk inside of the eggshell fits perfectly for a material, because chalk is also used in cement. The combination of casein and chalk finally made the breakthrough, because these materials were also used by the old egyptians as the first version of wood glue.
But where should I get that huge amount of egg shells? Thousands would be needed, in fact one EGGO! stool is made out of 800 eggs. I started collecting at local bakeries, from fellow students and ate a lot (A LOT!) of egg variations. I found out that a bakery in four weeks "creates" enough egg shells by throwing them away, to build one EGGO! stool. It is also possible to think of it as a new potential material ressource.
Together with a great amount of other materials I experimented in my kitchen to achieve the best chemical bond possible. When the final formula was finished, I had to go into 1:1 scale to test the results.
Therefore I had to build negative forms of the stool, because for a good bond, the egg shell material needs to be heated at 150 degrees for 2 hours. After two weeks the stool is fully dried and ready to sit on it.
EGGO! is fully made of natural materials and is completly composable. Furthermore it gives a material a new meaning, that would otherwise simply be thrown away. Because of the fact that you can choose your own wood and colour EGGO! speaks for itself!