Materia Madura is a furniture and vessel collection made from an innovative material derived from plantain and coffee waste. Inspired by the indigenous Taíno culture from Puerto Rico and their prehistoric artefacts, this project offers an alternative to agricultural waste and recycling with a non-toxic, sustainable, locally sourced, and biodegradable material.
Plantain and coffee, cultural staple foods of Puerto Rico, are produced and consumed in abundance therefore their organic waste is also abundant. Analysing food waste as a critical societal issue and a resource particular to Puerto Rico, a new material was invented from waste matter to open innovative possibilities for design applications. The production model is transferable geographically, across the plantain and coffee belts and methodologically offers future potential for alternative food wastes.
Taking advantage of this local waste and transforming it through a design approach, this project aims to highlight how many everyday objects are designed with toxic, unsustainable materials when they can be produced with locally sourced, non-toxic, sustainable and potentially biodegradable materials.