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MaDe Finalist
Name

Elena Albergati

Material
Inside Out
Nationality
Italian
Classification
Vegetable
Workshop
Milan
Category
Future Vision
Profile

I’m Elena Albergati, I’m a 24-years-old student attending the second year of Digital and Interaction Design Master at Politecnico di Milano. All my life I’ve been guided by my two main passions, Art and scientific study of Nature. Since high school I tried to combine these two aspects succeeding in part thanks to the Design Faculty that I have chosen.

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Project Information
Material Qualities
Color: It depends on the type of seeds
Soft / hard: Medium density and compact gel
Shiny / matt: Shiny
Smells: It acquires the smell of the seeds used
Texture: Slightly rough
Others: Flexible, tensile strenght and water-resistant. The molding process can be repeated many times heating the material.
Material Recipe
- 4 g glycerine
- 40 ml water
- 1.6 g agar agar
- 5 g fruit seeds (e.g. avocado, papaya, litchi, mango, mandarins)

It’s also possible to transform the gel into a foam (as shown in the photos) adding 6 ml of soap and whisking. I tried foaming the gel because the amount of materials used is less and the foam is lighter but the result is also less stable so I prefer the gelly version.
Material Application
- Fruit packaging
- Food protection (e.g. eggs)
- Antibacterial layer for food box
- Medical film for injuries protections
- Fertilizing and protective case for plants
Material Narrative
Fruit represents one of the largest food waste in the world. Every year in Europe 50 million tonnes of fruit are wasted for an amount of 80 billion of euro. Fruit seeds most of all are always thrown away but they are rich of properties, mainly they are antimicrobial and full of nutrients. So I used them to develop “Inside Out”, a gel-like material for food protection interesting for its capacity of avoiding the formation of moulds and fungi. I’d like to work with this gel because it has a very simple and natural composition, it’s versatile, easy to shape and totally biodegradable.
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MaDe, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of The European Union, aims at boosting talents towards circular economies across Europe partnering with design and cultural institutions, Elisava, Ma-tt-er and Politecnico di Milano. If you are living in Italy, the UK or Spain please apply to the MaDe workshops in the relevant cities.

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