Projects by the students of the
Bachelor Major in Art, Major in Design,
and the Master in Eco-Social Design

Chestnut biomaterials

Course topic/s

MA Practice Based Course




This project was inspired by the idea that the materials that we use can be an ongoing meditation of the specific places we inhabit. By weaving this idea into the materials we choose to use day-to-day, we can celebrate the value of specific, place-based knowledge and identity. We begin to recognize that place has the power to define the character and consciousness from the community down to the individual – it defines our accountabilities, our differences, our pleasures. Sweet chestnuts reflect the history, traditions, and environs of the Alto Adige region.

This project is also an exploration of circular and bio-based materials. The chestnut shells themselves are largely considered a waste byproduct, although there research has shown that the shells are high in vitamin E, amino acids, antioxidants, and deodorant compounds. There are also observed antibacterial and antiinflammatory effects. The shells here have been tested with a simple cornstarch based bioplastic recipe, with variations in relative ratios of the ingredients and additional bio-based additives (hemp, eggshell).