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

Hemp-coffee biomaterial

Course topic/s

MA Practice Based Course




This DIY material has been designed with the intention of being a thermal and acoustic insulator. It is created using hemp as a key ingredient and also requires the addition of glycerol, cornstarch and water. It is extremely easy to make as it simply requires all the materials to be heated together and then left to dry. It is also a very flexible recipe and allows for plenty of experimentation.

Hemp has many advantageous material properties that make it a perfect candidate for thermal and acoustic insulation: it is also strong, lightweight and requires relatively few natural resources to grow. As it is a natural substance, it also makes this DIY material bio-based and biodegradable- a quality not often found in insulation.

The DIY material recipe can be adapted in various ways depending on the desired outcome. For example, by swapping the water for natural dyes (we tried beetroot, turmeric and red cabbage), it is possible to produce this material in various colours. Depending on how the material is moulded and dried, the outcomes are adaptable to different settings. One idea is to create or use a pre-existing mould to create identical pieces and a modular system that could arrange them together to adorn a wall, getting visually creative with the material.
The concept is creating a smooth, flat sample using a heat press, which allows the potential to be placed underneath floors/walls for insulation purposes. A final suggestion on how to maximise the capabilities of this material is to use a stamp or other item to create a textured surface- this is useful for acoustic insulation and soundproofing.