Philipp Hainke

April / April - 2018

Universität der Künste Berlin


ORGANICO is a new, sustainable composite material. The resource-saving sandwich material consists of hemp fibres and hemp shives, casein and lime, is 100% biodegradable and has been developed according to the cradle-to-cradle principle.

What is the Topic?

The aim of the project was to develop an alternative to ecologically questionable composite materials and plastics. Pollution from? plastics and their byproducts? is an enduring problem that makes it necessary to think about ecological alternatives. In addition, the scarcity of resources forces us to use them as efficiently as possible and to rethink material lifecycles. The ORGANICO project presents a material that proposes possible solutions for incorporating economic, sustainable and creative alternatives into the various phases of the product life cycle.

Why does it look like this?

The striking, concentric circles are not purely ornamental, but are above all technical in nature. During the pressing process, the adhesive is partly pressed out of the material compound. The grooves in the mould define where the adhesive accumulates; in this way, the technical necessity of adhesive removal is implemented as a creative means.

What is special?

An important aspect of ORGANICO is the holistic use of raw materials: For both carrier elements of the material - hemp fibre and hemp hurds - the same adhesive of casein and lime is used. The composite material does not require any (synthetic) resins or (bio)plastics as binders and yet its sandwich structure provides high strength and a low weight. The material is biologically harmless and CO2 negative in production. A coating with lacquers or chemicals is not necessary, but possible. The four basic building blocks of the material - casein, lime, hemp fibres and shives, can usually be obtained locally.

What is new?

The material translates the natural structure of the hemp plant into a technical product using the same materials as nature. Inside there is a foamy core made of hemp hurds, which is surrounded by cover surfaces made of hemp fibres. The material is 100% biodegradable in nature. The colouring is achieved by biological pigments which are mixed directly into the adhesive.