Design as a catalyst in technological innovation: The Example of 3D-Cellulose Printing

Cellulose is a fascinating and promising, renewable raw material. As processed into flat products such as paper, cardboard or viscose, we face cellulose every day. The three-dimensional build-up of cellulose opens up completely new fields of applications, especially in areas in which petroleum-based raw materials are actually used. Proof of the feasibility of the three-dimensional structure of cellulose in additive manufacturing technology has already been provided. Despite this promising scenario, the implementation of the sustainable technology into the market is yet pending due to the lack of application scenarios.
Lacking application scenarios often lead to the failure of promising visions. Design, with its speculative competence in combination with explorative, design-based experiments, can make a significant contribution in this respect. Practice-based design research is a young discipline with huge potential on the intersection of design andtechnology – for a successful collaboration, methods and alignment between traditional
scientific disciplines and design have to be developed. The team suggests a new methodological approach which strengthens the artifact as vehicle of knowledge for the productive method of explorative experiments in innovation processes. Both goals – the development of application scenarios for the case-study and the development of methods – unite the ambition to support innovation processes in technological developments by design.

Contact, Partner & Publication


Thomas Geiger


Hochschule Luzern – Design & Kunst (Lea Schmidt, Andrea Weber Marin)


Status: completed







Cellulose-Powder 3D-Printed