Agar as Packing Material

An agar (F Chocolate Agar), being used to culture.

An agar (F Chocolate Agar), being used to culture.

A replacement for the ubiquitous bubble wrap may be on the way. Created from agar—a jelly-like substance derived from marine algae—the design group AMAM developed the material as a result of Agar Plasticity, their state-of-the-art project.  The Japanese group was formed in 2015, consisting of the three designers Kosuke Araki, Noriaki Maetani and Akira Muraoka.

"This is a bold and ambitious experiment, which aims to address one of the biggest pollution problems of our time.  The designers have made tremendous progress during the course of the award cycle, particularly in devising a wide range of possible practical applications for the material," said Alice Rawsthorn, a member of the 2016 Lexus Design Award panel.  "Their success in doing so gives us confidence in their ability to tackle the many challenges and complexities they will face in continuing the development of the project."

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