Material-driven Sustainability

These projects were developed for Toyoshima , with a focus on sustainable waste reduction in Japan. The Design Lab collaborated with Yoshie Lab and Sakai Lab to create two concepts centered on using material-driven processes to change current wasteful systems of production and consumption.




Dust to Dust is a project that uses waste as resource, commodity, and infrastructure. The proposal involves a platform that empowers users to redefine the value of waste by providing custom materials produced with new types of recycled concrete, developed by Sakai Lab. Leveraging Sakai Lab's "vegetable concrete", the products are composed of industrial construction waste, bound together by lignin and fibers found in organic waste.

The platform is composed of three pillars: Research, Service, and Community. Each of these sections provide tools for users to build material literacy, receive products tailored to their demand, and connect to a wide material network. Applications for this material range from disaster relief, to bespoke installations, to consumer products such as tableware or architectural tiles. The goal of this project is essentially to create a waste material ecosystem which would reinject value into a waste management system that currently is not being leveraged, create revenue from completely new kinds of material interactions, and give individuals the option to reduce the amount of resources they rely on.

Dust to Dustは、廃棄物を、資源、商品、インフラ基礎構造として使うプロジェクトです。酒井研究室で開発された特別な素材である新しいタイプのリサイクルコンクリートを通して、廃棄物の持つ価値をユーザーが見出すことができるようにするプラットフォームを提案しました。建築産業の廃材を有機性廃棄物に含まれるリグニンと繊維によって固めた酒井研究室の「植物コンクリート」を活用したものです。


The amount of byproducts, energy use, CO2 production, and costs reduced from using this material are significant and would represent an immense benefit, both from an environmental and economic point of view. Dust to Dust aims to use cutting edge science, developed at Sakai Lab, to transform industrial waste into a material that is precious and personal.

この素材を使う事により、副産物の量、エネルギー消費量、二酸化炭素排出量、そしてコストを大幅に削減する事ができます。環境、経済の視点から計り知れない利益があると思われます。Dust to Dustは酒井研究室で開発された最先端の科学技術により、産業廃棄物を個人にとって貴重な素材に変えることを目指しています。


PIEL is a concept for dynamic packaging, proposed as replacement of current perishable food plastic packaging. This project was created with the support of Yoshie Lab, currently conducting research on shape memory polymers synthesised from existing materials. PIEL is essentially a new kind of packaging that provides information about the food that it contains by changing patterns or shape. It addresses the portion of food wasted by the industry itself and caused by binary expiration date systems, which affect the perception of freshness and sanitation in consumers. It also tackles food wastage due to quality control and markdowns in long supply chains, particularly for protein-based perishables such as fish or meat.

The project is inspired by packaging as it exists in nature, where the peel of fruits indicate information about decay. Using different decay indicators such as pH, bacterial count, and gaseous or chemical changes, the shape memory polymer developed by Yoshie Lab is designed to change appearance. In order to induce behavior change, this new type of packaging would become increasingly smooth to induce desirability in the customers.