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(Archive) Exploring hemp, magnesium and potato starch

A cooperation between IHOG and Academie Minerva Groningen. Designer Jack Brandsma and students are exploring the potential of these local materials.

This project was part of DDW 2022
hempmag table, chair and stool & hempotato lamp — © Jack Brandsma 2022

IHOG (Innovatie Hub Oost-Groningen) is a cooperation of three companies based in the Province of Groningen: HempFlax, Nedmag and Avebe. Academie Minerva lecturer/researcher Jack Brandsma and students are working with IHOG's materials, which has led to a range of samples and prototypes.

Learning by doing

Natural fibers like hemp are often used as reinforcement in combination with a synthetic binder, which makes the fusion material non-circular. In this project IHOG and Academie Minerva are looking at alternative, natural binders like magnesium and potato starch, to combine with hemp fibers.
Experiments with pressing techniques have resulted in a series of samples and prototypes. The materials have been tested on their properties by shaping them in existing product moulds. Sometimes they literally are the imprint of an existing product. Studying material behaviour was the main focus at that point: how strong & slim can it become?
At DDW 2021 a whole range of material samples were presented with hardly a functional application in mind. In 2022 there will be more product directions on show, like furniture and lighting. The next step now for IHOG/Minerva is to professionalize production and bring some products to the market next year.
Some products and samples have been on show earlier this year at Material District Utrecht, at Museum Kunsthal Helmond and at the Academie Minerva Graduation Show.

hempmag chair — © Jack Brandsma 2022

hempmag stool (hemp felt & magnesium oxychloride) — © Jack Brandsma 2022

hempmag (ch)air, pressed between two Air chairs — © Jack Brandsma 2022

hempotato lamp, hemp felt with potato starch