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MaDe Participant

Adriana Tamargo

Smells like chocolate

I am a product designer based in Barcelona who has recently fallen in
love with Material Driven Design. I believe bio-based materials are key
for a more sustainable design practice, we just can’t generate more
trash! I studied Engineering in industrial design and development of
products at the University of Zaragoza, and then worked as a product
and interaction designer at Donostia, Umea and Barcelona. I attended
the Master in Design for Emergent Futures program at Iaac / Elisava
last year, as I liked its speculative + hands-on approach. I am willing to
work with materials, in the intersection of biodesign and speculative

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Project Information
Material Qualities
Color: Brown.
Soft / hard: Soft.
Shiny / mat: Matt.
Smells: It smells exactly like chocolate!
Texture: Grainy and soft.
Others: It can be very flexible depending on the thickness of the sample and the cooking process followed.
Material Recipe
Main component: Cacao bean husks
Solvent: Water
Binder: Wheat, corn or yuca starch, it depends on the results you want and the availability of products of your location.
Flexibiliser: Glycerin

Percentages: 70% of cacao husks, 20% of starch, 6% of glycerin, and 4% of water and spices (cinnamon, coloring). (70g cacao husks, 20g starch, 6g of glycerine, 100ml of water and 1g cinnamon).

Cooking process: The cooking process depends on the type of object you want to create. The process changes if you want to create a 3d shape or a 2d layer.

To make a 3d object:
- Clean the husks and filter them. You could also cook them in a vapor cooker to vaporize the chocolate remaining.
- Grind the husks until you have a homogeneous powder.
- Add glycerine, water and the starch into a pod.
- Cook over medium high heat and stir the mix with a spoon until it starts boiling and becomes viscous.
- Add the cacao seed husks into the solution.
- Stir the mix until you get a clay type mass.
- Pour the material into a silicon / easy to remove mold.
- After 8 hours remove the mold and let the material dry during 24 hours approx.

To make a 2d thin layer:
- Clean / filter the husks.
- Grind the husks until you have a homogeneous powder.
- Add glycerine, water and the starch into a bowl and mix it until you have and homogeneous mix.
- Pour half of the mix into a cooking tray.
- Add the cacao seed husks homogeneously into the tray.
- Pour the rest of the mix into the tray until it looks homogeneous.
- Put the mix into the oven for 6 minutes aprox.
- When it cools down, take out the tray and let the material dry during 24 hours approx.
Material Application
Vegan leather, some of the samples looked like leather because of the texture and the brown colour, so it could be used for vegan products such as belts.
Reusable bowls, pots, dishes and trays, by moulding the material into different shapes.
Packaging, especially for chocolate, sweets and cosmetics (lotions or soaps that contain chocolate).
Ephemeral accesories such as phone cases or design / architecture mock ups.
Food containers, it could be used in bakeries to wrap the sweets to take away for example.
Masks and accesories for spas or relaxation spaces, following the chocolate therapy trend.
Artistic installations to empower material literacy and change the mainstream perception of trash as something stinky and useless.
Material Narrative
Did you know that for every kg of chocolate produced, 10 kg of cacao bean husks are discarded as waste? During the workshop I worked with cacao husks from a local chocolate factory called Blanxart, who were willing to reuse the waste they generated but didn’t know how (reusing it for bio-mass is too expensive for them, and it is not suitable for cattle-food). The resultant material is very versatile, you
can develop from a flexible thin layer of material to a 3d object that will last several months. It has really good qualities as well; It smells just like chocolate, consists mostly in cellulose and it is light and resistant. As I am interested in material literacy and influencing our perception of waste, I decided to call the material: “Smells like chocolate”, playing around with our traditional perception of waste (stinky, disgusting and useless), in contrast with this material which smells incredibly and could be even used in a a spa type relaxation space. Stinky, right?
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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.

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