Great student work in industrial design: Jade Echard transforms oyster shells into a sustainable material



Before we understood or cared about environmental damage, industrial design could be called a noble profession. At its best, it was producing items useful to the masses, and the use of mass production made these items affordable while creating thousands of factory jobs.

As this system is no longer viable, the Parisian industrial designer Jade Echard offers the model of an alternative. Ostra, the project that Echard developed last year while graduating with his Masters in Industrial Design at Central St. Martins, is a holistic approach to product development that addresses environmental issues while taking into account the supply chain. supply and local economies.

“About 430 billion tonnes of oysters are harvested each year,” Echard writes. “Their shells represent more than 70% of their weight, resulting in tons of shellfish waste. Most are left untreated or dumped in landfills where they rot, releasing methane (a greenhouse gas). At the same time, they contain one of the most valuable components used in many industries but generally extracted: calcium carbonate.

“By exploring the transformation potential of this organic waste – thanks to an ancient Roman recipe for Concrete – OSTRA aims to rethink oyster shells as a valuable, sustainable and local biomaterial resource by developing a range of products within the framework of ‘a circular economy In doing so, the project contributes to reducing the environmental pollution load while reducing production and transport costs and moving harmful or extracted materials.

“OSTRA is an alternative material and a system for critically engaging with a complete supply chain. The project involves local communities, creating a network of people (farmers, conservators as material suppliers, scientists, designers etc.) around waste oyster shells.

“I am currently developing the material in collaboration with Dr Michael Cattell, specialist in dental technology and biomaterials at the Institute of Dentistry – Queen Mary University of London. From this research I have developed a range of tableware in oyster shell material that can be used by the same restaurants the shellfish are sourced from. “

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Echard now has her Masters in hand and has returned to her home port in Paris, where she is looking for identity work. Potential employers can contact her here.

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