Innovation That Matters

The BreaZea not only functions as a useful room divider but also encourages people to think about the future uses of bioplastics. | Photo source Crafting Plastics

A scented room divider made from 3D-printed bioplastic

Architecture & Design

The design aims to create an identifiable smell for bioplastics that reflects the origins of the materials

Spotted: A collaboration between design studios Crafting Plastics and Office MMK has developed a scented room divider called BreaZea. The room divider is made from a bioplastic that has been 3D-printed and is part of a larger project, called “Breathe IN / Breathe OUT” that aims to develop scents that actively work with the human mind to advance the transition towards a circular economy. The dividers are currently part of an installation at Milan’s Furniture Show. 

The bioplastic used for BreaZea is made from biopolymers composed of a mixture of cornstarch and sugar. When the mix is heated, it gives off a smell like baking bread, although once cooled, the material has no odour. Instead, Crafting Plastics added oil and water-based scents to either the bioplastic itself or to the finished product. The BreaZea is completely compostable. 

When choosing scents, the team at Crafting Plastics wanted to create an evocative smell that would help people to identify with the lifecycle of bioplastics. The dividers in the installation use two smells that include the sweet, roasted smell of the processing of the raw material and Crafting Plastics’ interpretation of the smell of decay. 

Crafting Plastics co-founder Vlasta Kubušová explains that they worked with German architect Moritz Maria Karl of Office MMK to bring a new identity to bioplastics: “We really wanted to find a way in which to express the smell itself. For us, the scent was something that doesn’t have a regular shape but goes from very tiny places and spreads around, and which can be connected in different ways.” 

The Breathe IN / Breathe OUT project aims to answer questions such as, “How to distinguish between natural and synthetic materials?” and “How would a plastic-free planet smell?” While the BreaZea concept is unique, bioplastics are already being widely implemented for various products and uses. Recent examples spotted at Springwise include bioplastic face shields and high-tech bioplastic ski goggles

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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