Connect21 - Ecological alternatives to plastic or leather

During two weeks, five women from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Department of Design & Art worked with “micro-fibrillated cellulose”. The goal set by Empa was to make the MFC into a paper-like structure that is as flat as possible and depending on the application, can also be flexible. Within the given time the group of designers mixed and processed MFC with different components to create a material mix that can be used for possible products in the future. For example as a more ecological alternative than plastic or leather. The focus was on using only organic products and making the processing as energy-efficient as possible. All experiments were recorded in a morphological box. The three final mixtures that most optimally fulfilled the given criteria were: 

  • MFC & coffee grounds
  • MFC & glycerine
  • MFC & Aquafaba (the liquid extracted from chickpeas). 

The above mixtures were each air-dried in wire meshes and kept in shape. The flat patterns were then a good basis to apply various processing techniques like sewing, weaving, laser cutting etc.



Applied University Luzern, HSLU Design & Art, Master (Silvia Bolliger, Mira Durrer, Anna Michel, Brigitte Jornot, Anina Trutmann, Meri Zirkelbach)





Status: completed

Artificial MFC leather