DeNAture is a physical coding system for a faster and more accurate identification of invisible materials information in a closed loop chemical recycling system TT1. The project demonstrates how design thinking can be applied in different contexts to aid systems for cyclability through compelling communication strategies of materials’ provenance, type, processes, recycling and life-cycle TT2. The project is the outcome of a science-design collaboration during a COST-funded design residency in a laboratory hosted by Hanna de la Motte, a technical scientist developing innovative methods for chemical recycling of materials including regenerated wood-based cellulose fibres at Chalmers University of Gothenburg and SP Technical Institute of Sweden TT5.
To aid the traceability of materials at their smallest scale within chemical recycling processes, a code for man-made fibres is developed as a hybrid between DNA coding in living organisms and binary codes in programming TT6: Materials that are derived from nature but altered in the process of manufacturing reveal a traceable code that translates the invisible chemical processes and compositions into a pattern that can be read with UV microscopes and sensors TT3. This speeds up identification and application of the correct chemical processes through the connection of scientific research with design, and is achieved without altering the properties of the fibre TT9.
Acknowledging scarcity of materials and a system-based design approach that can be applied from the micro (molecular) to the macro (textural) scale, a garment blueprint made from 100% regenerated cellulose (Viscose and Tencel) creates options for assembly and disassembly of valuable coded fibres with a ‘minimal material’ approach TT8.
The data of coded materials is presented in a Recyclopaedia that provides a visual archive for the research that is pioneered worldwide. These codes create the fingerprint for each material, and like tree rings more layers of information can be added over time TT10.Download PDF
COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) at Chalmers University of Technology and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, hosted by Dr Hanna de la Motte
With thanks for advice from: Anna Palme, PhD Researcher at Chalmers (recycled cotton), Tobias Köhnke, Swerea IVF (spinning advice), PhD student Alexander Idström (NMR advice), Professor Per Lincoln and PhD student Lena Nyberg, the Physical Chemistry Department at Chalmers, the Organic Chemistry Department at Chalmers and SP Technical Institute of Sweden.
Project developed with funding support from COST FP1205: Åsa Östlund, Action Chair; Dennis Jones, STSM Manager