A material known as chitosan/ chitin, made from crustacean shells, has been used in the medical industry due to its nutrients but its applications in other industries are starting to be explored.
After the shelling process, shells would usually go to waste but by extracting chitosan from them, it adds value to this waste and gives us a new upcycled material to work with. Since its a by-product of the process, therefore, till the time we consume shell fish, this material will be available and won’t cause any extra damage.
At Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven, I tried to understand this matter and look for its application in the design field. The basic ingredients used were diluted acetic acid, water and chitosan powder and I experimented with different quantities to get different results. I even tried using felted hemp and other raw fabrics to understand how solid/ flexible it can be. Some of the application for this material would be acoustics for interiors, packaging, furniture etc.