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MaDe Participant

Claudia Catalani

Fish Left (L)overs

I am a 25 years-old Italian Product designer just graduated at Politecnico di Milano in Product design for Innovation. During my thesis I developed a tinkering and experimentation process on a material waste:fish waste. My research thesis is focalized to give new live to fish waste, and trying to find the good way to transform it in an alternative material. 

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Project Information
Material Qualities
Color: semi-trasparent
Soft / hard: slightly soft
Shiny / mate: middle way
Texture: irregular
Others: flexible, shapable
Material Recipe
Glycerol, water, agar agar, fish scales
Material Application
Giving their sensorial and communicative characteristics, I begin to imagine for what reason a producer, designer or achitect would choice these kind of materials. the beauty of the samples are their semi trasparency. Could be used as decoration, like for example to do a wall divisor/partition/booths or could be used completely as plastic so for packaging, bags etc.
Material Narrative
I have analyzed the fish waste of fishmongers in particular of”Pescheria da Ninin”, which is located in the center of Senigallia (AN).
Most of the waste is composed by fish bones, heads, skin and scales. After my research about what is already exist, I decide to exclude the skin, because several designer, asso- ciation and industrial are working on it, and the improvement grows more and more.
Fishmongers is specialized in debone and cleaning fish for consumers, in order to make easier the cooking part. As a result, each day he has a big amount of waste, more than 20kg per day. My experimentation has been focalized on fish scales: the scales are formed in the dermis. They have the function of providing a sort of external support, but more than anything else they protect the underlying tissues. At first sight the fish scales seems fragile, but is not like this. They are really resistant, and thanks to their trasparency and sheen are a beauty to observe. Their beauty lies in their apparent fragility and their property of seeing through them. I made some experiments trying to differentiate the grams fish scales and glycerol quantity. The most satisfying result was where the quantity of fish scale is lower, where they are more rare and not regular, and where the quantity of glycerol is more than normal. Given its expressive sensory properties, I looked for a bio-plastic recipe which when it was dried is trasparent in order to keep the trasparent charactheristic of scales.
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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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