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Biochar-based Product Design Project 


Collaborated with Lucia Giron, Yilin Han & Jordan Murray

The scales of time – astronomical, geological, evolutionary, climate – remind us that time is an integral component in action, perception, and cognition. Time records the past and carries us to the future.


The dynamics of time connect the human and eco-cycle, transfer generations of knowledge, and capture our impact on a changing climate. But time isn’t always on our side. Each choice we make has repercussions for what is to come, and the power of our decisions calls us to act.


Through carbon capture, “Captis” enables each of us to contribute to building the world we want to share with the next generation of uncompromising change-makers, free-spirits and creative minds.

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The Chaptis design was first guided by our research into a material called biochar. Biochar is made through a thermal process called pyrolysis the heating of biomass in a zero-oxygen environment. It results in a negative emissions technology that locks carbon in a stable form permanently.

At the material end of life, it can be returned to the soil while supplying long-term benefits to the soil and preventing the organic carbon from re-entering the atmosphere.

Biochar is also non-sense stream dependent as it can be made from any bio-mass source and has a natural longevity as the natural source is already in a degraded state.


“ Biochar can produce 2.2 – 4.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions reductions by 2050. This analysis draws on total life-cycle assessments of the many ways biochar prevents and sequesters greenhouse gases, while assuming the nascent biochar industry is limited by the availability of global biomass feedstocks. ”


Following the material research, our initial experiment was designed to include tests for a hard bio-composite and a soft bio-leather.


Starting from recipe inspiration found during our research, we made adaptations to the recipes based on our hypothesis about how the addition of biochar might alter the outcomes. Following our initial experiments, we continues to adapt the recipes until we had a workable outcome. Overall we conducted 40 unique experiments in the lab using varying combinations of ingredients as well as mixing and drying methods.


The outcomes of each recipe were then documented with photographs and in a spreadsheet to compare the flexibility, texture, colour, finterprinting, homogeneity and weight.

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