Designing the Afterlife I 2021

The idea of biobased and biodegradable packaging materials as an alternative to petroleum-based, non-degradable ones is nothing new. One key reason they have not been used for a long time is that disposal infrastructure is lacking. The question of how these materials can be returned to the biological cycle remains unanswered.

The project “Designing the Afterlife” deals theoretically and practically with the development of disposal scenarios for seaweed-based, biodegradable packaging materials to close the biological material cycle and use the currently existing disposal infrastructure. The result is the “Water to Water” product series: packaging for solid and oil-based cosmetics that dissolves in water (the first time the product is used) and is disposed of in the sewage system, as it breaks down completely by microorganisms in the sewage treatment plant.

The work focuses on the communication of the product to the consumer. The packaging communicates how to dispose of it properly, with disposal designed to be simple. Part of the communication strategy is a QR code printed on the packaging, which leads to a video that explains the afterlife of the packaging clearly and playfully.

Designing the Afterlife