Functional objects made of coconut husk + exploring various applications of the material.
To explore what could be made from locally available resources and waste in Jiquilillo, Nicaragua.
Using coir (coconut husk), vegetable polymer, ocean water + old limes. The composite material is formed around found objects to create their structure.
Can this material and process be explored further and duplicated by local residents to provide an alternative to purchased, disposable plastic and other materials?
In a small fishing village in Nicaragua, with limited resources and an excess of Coconuts, we created a form-able material that relied as heavily as possible on the immediate local materials and elements.
With constant power outages in the area effecting both the electricity and running water, we wanted to be able to create this material without having to rely on power. Using a non-electric gas stove and water directly from the ocean, we were able to bypass those issues.
On the beach near the property, a seawall made of large rocks had been erected in order to deal with rising water and tides associated with climate change. During the day, in the direct sun, temperatures would reach an average of around 40ºc and heat the rocks. We used this to our advantage in order to quickly dry the material so that mold growth would not happen in the humid environment. We harnessed the disinfecting properties of the sun and lime to help kill bacteria.
The Coco material was then formed over found objects to create usable objects such as a bowl and light shade.
With more time and resources, our goal is to create an easily made biodegradable material that could be used to help curb the waste that litters both the ocean and land. It would help curb the garbage of the area and be an alternative to purchasing certain items in an area with little to no disposable income.