Shell Homage Hangers by Rania Elkalla

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Shell Homage

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Hangers

INSPIRATION:
There is no need to throw everything away. We do that far too often these days. The idea came to me one day during breakfast when I was tossing the egg in a pan and when my father was cracking some raw nuts in the kitchen and we had to collect the scattered shells everywhere from the ground. Touching and feeling those shells made me astonished by their beauty and strength. This was the start to research about them scientifically. Creating useful and sustainable products that have a life span and they should be completely biodegradable. Fabricate plastic based on natural fillers as Egg & nut shells without toxic chemicals. Have viable products, which decay if you dip into your garden if you do not need it anymore. It’s the ultimate solution for getting rid of things instead of storing them for years and getting ride of plastics, which never decays.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Pebbles are a decorative hanger set for everyday belongings with a secret tiny storage on the back and sides. It creates a flexible and playful system for organizing your little things. You can create the look according to your need and mood. The Pebbles hangers are extruded on different levels and can be partially overlapped that offers a wide range of order. Reduced to the essentials, the organic forms elegantly highlight the beauty of the bio plastic used, reveals a unique texture and surface design. Each customer can arrange them according to his or her choice creating various patterns out them, they look like precious gems on the wall. Pebbles collection is inspired by the true craft and beauty behind this and all images shown are from real samples produced and tested. Therefore never expect two samples to be identical which make it more unique. The design is a perfect solution to categorize small items, which easily get lost simply as keys, hand watch, USB, whether it is in the hallway, bedroom, or the office. You will always have a place to store your needful things. The material created is 100 % natural biodegradable plastic based on Egg and Nutshells, colored using food pigments. The shells are bonded with organic and biodegradable substances, which enable to create a mixture, which can be handled through different production techniques as extrusion, pressing and injection molding. It is similar to stone or ceramic, can be drilled or sanded or laser cut. The more we knew the material and work with it, the more we discover from it’s capabilities, capacity, the way to form it and various ways to process it and deal with it and it gets more familiar. There is more to egg and nutshells than meets the eye. Egg or nutshells are underrated because they are always perceived as foodstuff but you actually make a lot more from them. They are a wonderful natural resource.

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Shell homage is a project initiated by the product designer Rania Elkalla. The intention was to do functional and sustainable products that have a life span and they should be completely biodegradable. Fabricate plastic based on natural fillers as Egg & nut shells without toxic chemicals. Have viable products, which decay if you dip into your garden if you do not need it anymore. It’s the ultimate solution for getting rid of things instead of storing them for years and getting ride of plastics, which never decays. These objects and materials developed have the aspiration to educate and enlighten about how and by whom they are made, from which ingredients, why and inspire one another. The idea is to work with bio plastic and natural fillers, experiment with unexpected influences of these materials and production techniques: high-tech and hand made techniques. The aim is to reinterpret each material group and communicate their qualities as well as problems concerning environment.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in September 2015 and the methodology used in this project took place mostly in Berlin at Technical University of Berlin in TU berlin polymer technic lab. The primitive trials took place in Cairo at the German university in Cairo lab.

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The methods applied in this research project has been carried out through cooperating with material engineers and polymer specialist from Technical University of Berlin and merge between different displinces and fields. Besides creating a new eco and biodegradable material, another purpose of these experimentations was to open people's eyes to think in new alternative ways for future materials. All shells were collected from different sources as bakeries, nut shops, University kitchens and other sources then washed, cleaned well, dried many days in the sun or special ovens, grinded, hammered and combined with other bio adhesives. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this research, different research methods have been applied in this thesis. These methods can be divided into material selection, polymer choice, prepration of the composites, characterization of the composites and different mechanical test as tensil and hardening tests. The material created represent the flow of eggshells and different nutshells embedded in transparent biodegradable resin and food pigments. The techniques I used were hot press and extrusion. This composite can be also injected. In this project I explored the surface changes of objects during the process of their creation. Small differences in timing heat and flow of breath create one of a kind result. They range from hues, how homogeneous the material is mixed and the percentage of the filler eternalized in the polymer. Adding these shells enhance the polymer and makes it stronger hence result a 100% natural plastic, which can decay after so many years depending on weather conditions and size. Eggshells contain about 95% of calcium carbonate, one of nature’s most absorbent materials. Eggshells contain collagen and can captures up to 78 percent of carbon dioxide in the air. One whole medium sized eggshell makes about one teaspoon of powder, which produces about 750-800 mgs of elemental calcium plus other microelements. Nutshells are ecological natural material have different gradients of brown colors, varying textures. Each nut type has a special shell property which differs from other, for example peanuts shells have fibers, grain direction and bendy although hazelnut shell is very stiff and hard to grind.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Materials: Biodegradable plastic based on Egg and Nutshells. Colored using food pigments resulting 100% Natural Plastic. Hangers Dimensions: Small: 15 x 9 cm Middle: 17.5 x 11.5 cm Large: 30 x 10.5 cm

TAGS:
Egg shells-nut shells - cocoa shells- biodegradable plastic - bio composite

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
The main goal is to experiment with unconventional materials that are based on pre-consumer waste and previously reused items reclaimed from the industry a unique way. In this context design has the issue to transform undesirable wastes from a passive role to active interpretations through maximizing the efficiency of a product in terms of energy and use of natural resources. It is intended to create an experience with unusual materials that appear to be quite different in properties, behavior, and composition. Through this research project different material experiments are carried out to create products using waste from the food industry such as eggshells and the outer shells of nuts. As a consequence, the project applied the results in creating a wide range of products that not only meet the functional requirements but also inspires a sense of emotions and intellectual curiosities in consumers. This investigation points at a new way to look at “shells”, its personal homage. The shell is a special character with unique properties. It provides astonishing shelter to what it carries inside – for effective ecological reprocessing. This project is about reprocessing the waste of eggshells and nutshells into a surface can lead to high end products and give indirect message for users of things we consider waste.This project is an intersection between science, technology and design. The aim and the main purpose of this project are to identify the new needs of the market for product design development and establish links between product designers and material engineers..The real challenge is to transfer this material into functional objects, test it and know the audience feedback. In this mission, bio plastics from growing resources and natural discarded shells are explored and possible applications were revealed and tested. All of the products resulting from this research project have the aim to provide information about how they are produced, from which ingredients and for what purpose.

CHALLENGE:
The intent of the research and one of the biggest challenges was to discover the right bio plastic to use or a binding material that can be used while still can maintain different mechanical strengths and loads. There is huge amount of bio plastics available in the market with countless data sheet. I had to investigate and explore them, searching for the right binder, knowing the supplier and getting the cost. Get the knowhow of the production methods of the used types of polymers. How to combine the shells with the polymer? Where I can access the machines suitable for the production? What processing possibilities and limits exist? What kind of surfaces or products I need to demonstrate using the new created materials? One of the risks was the lack of manufacturing experience. In the beginning, the channels of communication were inadequate, making it hard for a designer like me to find the information I need and the right person I need to contact. Follow a plan by experimenting with the right materials by combining them in new ways, testing their specific qualities, finding new applications, researching their history, parameters and contexts as well as future resources. Additionally, Identify the Material properties and performances. Moreover, find a way to balance between then emotional and the intellectual part as a designer. Furthermore, merge between the spontaneous side as a designer and follow the restrictions and guidelines of material science and production methods available. In a speculative sense, the clear constraints were how to manufacture products without toxic chemicals and produce useful and sustainable products that should be completely biodegradable and offer viable solutions. It sounds simple, but simple turned out to be hard. One of the boundaries was how to offer a new material that rots in peace and find a suitable bio plastic recipe to use. The challenge was to discover and recognize the egg and nutshells potentials for rebirth, to provoke a new need for it through creating desirable objects and surfaces. Additionally, how designers and scientists can cooperate – at which point does one discipline dissolve into the other.

ADDED DATE:
2016-11-28 19:40:30

TEAM MEMBERS (1) :


IMAGE CREDITS:
Main Image All pebbles displayed on wall
Optional Image 1 Hangers front view
Optional Image 2 Hanger perspective, showing opening detail
Optional Image 3 Hangers in use
Optional Image 4 throwing a key in the secret storage of the hanger

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NOMINATION DETAILS

Shell Homage Hangers by Rania Elkalla is a Nominee in Furniture Accessories, Hardware and Materials Design Category.

· This project is currently confidential as results have not been announced yet. Images and further details of the project is not available for public yet, please check back later. If you are the owner of this design, please login to view the images.

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AWARD DETAILS

Shell Homage Hangers by Rania Elkalla is Winner in Furniture Accessories, Hardware and Materials Design Category, 2016 - 2017.

· Read the interview with designer Rania Elkalla for design Shell Homage here.

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