Students of Izmir University of Economics (IUE) created designs that would be alternative to plastics which are believed to be one of the major threats to human health, and started to be used widely recently. Developing bio design projects by using living organisms such as yeast, kombucha, and algae, students also used daily wastes such as coffee, paper and turned them into environmental projects. Students designed shoe soles, insulation materials for buildings, wall panels that clean air, phone cases, water bottles, and flower pots. Designs, which are created in order to raise environmental awareness, will be on display at the Productivity and Technology Fair in Ankara in December. Derya Irkdaş Doğu, Lecturer at IUE Department of Industrial Design, pointed out the importance of the study and she said, “Bio design is a new and promising field for today’s youth and entrepreneurs.”
The bio design projects, which are based on the principle of ‘working with living creatures’, were carried out in collaboration with IUE Faculty of Fine Arts and Design and IUE Faculty of Engineering. Students were divided into mix groups of five and they conducted experiments with living materials and worked long hours on prototype production in order to create their designs. Designs of 8 groups of students, were turned into models and banners and exhibited on Campus Izmir. The designs, which attracted great attention, will continue to be improved at a lab environment by design and engineering students for their graduation projects.
“MAJORITY OF DOMESTIC WASTES ARE PLASTICS”
Lecturer Derya Irkdaş Doğu gave information about the purpose of these designs and how they were created. Doğu said, “In Turkey, plastics make up a good portion of the domestic wastes. Same goes for the whole world in fact. Whereas, with the appropriate usage of materials in nature, it is possible to reduce the use of plastics significantly. We based our studies on this thought. For example, it takes almost 700 years for a plastic bottle to decompose. However, by using living materials, we came up with an alternative product. By using baker’s yeast, algae, waste coffee and paper, our students created designs that would be alternative to many products we use daily.”
“AN OPPORTUNUTY FOR ENTREPRENEURS”
Lecturer Derya Irkdaş Doğu continued as: “Most probably so many people find it hard to believe that a shoe sole, flower pot, or an insulation material can be made out of baker’s yeast. We wanted to raise environmental awareness by carrying these projects into effect. Engineering students helped with the technical parts, and design students helped with the designing, and a nice project took place thanks to this collaboration. We will continue with such projects in the near future. The fact that the designs will be displayed at a fair in Ankara is also very important for us. Environmentalist designs create an opportunity for entrepreneurs as well. We may plan out different activities to reach them.”