Malai by Zuzana Gombošová

Malai by Zuzana Gombošová is based in Kerala and rescues ‘waste’ coconut water from a coconut-cultivation region in Southern India by employing a traditional bacterial-cellulose growth process (taking the food industry of the Philippines as an example). The result is a plastic-free, home compostable, vegan material that can be hand sewn, machine sewn, cut, laser cut, embossed, glued and skived.

The applications are currently explored through industry research collaborations. During the exhibition Sorry we are Trying. Biomaterials in Practice, there will be various Malai material sheets on display as well as Gombošová’s most recent research on local plants in Slovakia that can possibly be employed in future material innovation processes back in her home country.

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The designers on show represent a long term and holistic, yet step by step approach on innovating bio-cycles. Their work renegotiates the relationship of man, technology and nature and highlights the role of transdisciplinary collaborations.

The designers work within the potentials and limitations of a new (bio)material landscape and take it upon themselves to test, develop and explore applications. Some of the studios struggle with the performance of their organic materials, while others still have a (long) way to go in the process of scaling up their promising findings.

In order to gradually shift from the petroleum based production and waste systems, and bring about systemic change, they intervene at different stages of a globalised value chain.

① Zuzana Gombošová

② Elissa Brunato

③ Mogu

④ Aurelia Noudelmann

⑥ Eugenia Morpurgo, Sophia Guggenberger

Youyang Song

⑧ Lukas Wegwerth
Verena Michels
①⓪ Vlasta Kubušová and Miro Kral

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2021 by Verena Michels / Vlasta Kubušová, Berlin / Bratislava