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Winner New Material Award 2018: ‘Algae Lab Luma’ by Studio Klarenbeek & Dros and Atelier LUMA

20 October 2018

Bioplastics made from algae instead of oil: ‘Algae Lab Luma’ by Studio Klarenbeek & Dros and Atelier LUMA is the winner of the 7th edition of the New Material Award 2018. The project ‘Blood Related’ by Basse Stittgen wins this year’s New Material Fellowship.

The New Material Award stimulates the development of sustainable materials through projects that provide smart solutions to the issues surrounding raw materials, energy and reuse – both in design and production. The objects and research projects of the winners and other finalists can be seen until October 28th during Dutch Design Week 2018. The biennial New Material Award is organized by the DOEN Foundation, the Kwadraat Fund and  Het Nieuwe Instituut. 

New Material Award 2018 & New Material Fellow 2018: the winners

More and more designers are thinking about the effect of their designs in the circular chain from raw material to raw material. The aim of the award is to encourage artists, designers and architects to contribute to the urgent global issues surrounding raw materials, production and waste. The role of the designer and design research are crucial in this.

This year, two jury rounds were needed to choose the eventual winners. In the words of Lex ter Braak, who chaired the jury: “All the nominations address, in their individual ways, the impact of how we design, produce and consume. The jury selected the two winning projects because of their goals, as well as their clear conceptual elaboration. The enthusiasm with which the winners dare to tackle such huge issues, with no certain outcome, is inspiring and takes courage.”

winner New Material Award 2018 - Studio Klarenbeek and Dros and Atelier Luma with Algae Lab luma
© photo Boudewijn Bollmann

New Material Award 2018

Studio Klarenbeek & Dros and Atelier LUMA, ‘Algae Lab LUMA’, receive a cash prize of €15,000. The jury praised their visionary research into the potential applications of algae as a substitute for oil-based plastics, as well as their efforts to involve universities and industry.

New Material Fellow 2018

Basse Stittgen, ‘Blood Related’, receives €5,000 and half a year of assistance from Het Nieuwe Instituut in the further development of his research into the applications of cow’s blood.

Basse Stittgen winner New Material Fellow 2018 with Blood Related.
© Photo Boudewijn Bollmann

The jury on the winning projects

Winner New Material Award 2018 – Algae Lab Luma - Studio Klarenbeek & Dros and Atelier LUMA

The jury admires the winners’ unconditional commitment to developing sustainable new materials with algae, for example as a replacement for oil. The dimensions and applicability of the possible results of their research are immense, and are further expanded by the international network in which they conduct their research. Given its production in the sea, algae does not rely on the use of agricultural land, which makes a large-scale approach feasible. In addition to developing the bioplastic, Studio Klarenbeek & Dros en Atelier LUMA  envisage a decentralized production model where every household or neighbourhood has a number of 3D printers that can print products with the new material, reducing emissions through transport, making storage unnecessary, and relieving pressure on international road links. The jury advises intensifying their connections with industrial partners, so that their adventurous dream can become reality.

Winner New Material Fellowship 2018 - Blood Related - Basse Stittgen

Every year, it appears, millions of litres of blood from slaughtered animals flow senselessly away. But whereas pig’s blood has all kinds of applications, cow’s blood is seen as a worthless by-product. Basse Stittgen came across an old method in which cow’s blood is pressed into hot moulds to form a hard but brittle material resembling bakelite. Stittgen designed Blood Related, a collection of cow's blood products, in the hope that this waste will one day become a thing of the past. At the same time, the utilitarianism of his project gives rise to an uncomfortably poignant feeling. It encourages critical thinking about our consumption patterns and their scale. The jury hopes that, with the Fellowship, Stittgen will be able to further develop these critical dimensions so that one day – to paraphrase the poet Menno Wigman – we will hear: Enough. enough. Now no more slaughter.

Nomination committee and jury 2018

Nomination committee

  • Lex ter Braak, chair, also chair of the jury
  • Elvin Karana, associate professor of design engineering, TUDelft, author of ‘Materials Experience’
  • Conny Groenewegen, fashion director at Conny Groenewegen
  • Emma van der Leest, artistic director and founder of Blue City
  • Stijn Roodnat, co-founder LABEL BREED


  • Irene Colicchio, sustainability engineer at DSM
  • Rianne Makkink, founder and director Studio Makkink & Bey
  • Arnold Tukker, professor of industrial ecology and director of the Centre for Environmental Sciences (CML) at Leiden University.
Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven with the winners of the New Material Award 2018
© Photo Boudewijn Bollmann