Jump to project information
MaDe Winner

Paula Nerlich

Aqua Faba Foam
Future Vision

I am a designer and explorer. A deep fascination for trends and circular design drives me. I am active in the fields of Material Design, Trend Research and Sustainable Innovation. I graduated in Textiles from Edinburgh College of Art and gained experience as curatorial assistant, planning art exhibitions and films at a production company in Berlin for several years.

My current research into sustainable materials has brought material innovations, such as ‘Aqua Faba Biofoam’ and ‘COCOA’. With my work I aim to support the elimination of so-called food waste through the creation of circular biomaterials from industrial food production surplus. I initiate discourse around the value of waste as resource and the place of new products and materials in a circular economy.

Watch Film
View Gallery
Project Information
Material Qualities
Light pink to terracotta, depending on density and thickness. Both, depending on density and thickness. From pearl-shine to very glossy.
Once fully dried there is no smell. Depends on mixing technique and how it is being shaped.
Material Application
Unfortunately I am not sure, as I am not very familiar with industrial processes. The processes I know of are very different to the process I use to create the bioplastic. But I would love to explore industrial processes for my material!
food packaging - disposable table wear for short use (wet) and for long term use (dry food) - interior products, like room partitions - tiles (dry spaces) - decorative items, like bowls and covers for plant pots (see page on the right for examples)
Material Method
For the material I make use of a by-product created in food production, which would normally go to waste. By using this by-product I aim to support zero waste food production. The production of the material has very low energy usage and no waste is created within the production. All ingredients used are biodegradable and in further research it could be explored how the material could be recycled before being composted.
Material Narrative
Aqua Faba Foam is a by-product from the preparation of legumes and, depending on the legume, can have emulsifying, foaming, binding, gelatinizing and thickening properties. I am currently exploring the properties of aqua faba from chickpeas within my recipe. I approach material design by creating a recipe and then test it through the application of various techniques within the process of making and the shaping.
Back to top

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.

Design by All Purpose ©2023