As an emerging designer, environmental sustainability is at the forefront of Eliza's design practice. With the belief that she plays a vital role in ensuring that the work she creates doesn't harm our environment, Eliza's practice looks at ways of reusing waste materials to create something beautiful yet functional, reframing how we view waste. Working in practice-led research and specialising in object, ceramic and textile design, Eliza's work focuses on exploring material, allowing for endless innovation and experimentation within the field of design while working consciously through a sustainable lens.
Working within a circular economy, Oysterware investigates ways of re-purposing local shell waste from the seafood industry to create functional tableware. The research uses a critical-making approach to designing for the circular economy, utilising an experimental methodology that transposes the food waste of oyster shells. To tackle the problem of excessive shell waste, Oysterware transforms the value of waste resources into critical materials, maintaining its value through returning the shell waste to the product cycle.
The tableware comprises three natural materials: Oyster shell waste, water, and sodium alginate, a material derived from brown algae. When the calcium carbonate found within the shell waste combines with the other two materials, it creates a clay-like paste that naturally hardens and can then be used to form and shape objects.
After use, the tableware can be reconstituted into the paste for remodelling, creating a re-use cycle. Alternatively, the tableware can be disposed of in council green bins or added to soil as the materials hold soil benefits, allowing for sustainable disposal. This creates a functional cycle of consumption, waste production, object manufacture and re-use that Oysterware works within.