Maltese architecture students build a system to recycle waste

Maltese architecture students have unveiled an innovative creation that transforms land and sea waste into usable material. And they did it at Milan Design Week.

The idea came from four Maltese students of architecture, affiliated with BAGS (the Architecture and Civil Engineering Society) which has produced a system that turns discarded paper and seaweed into lampshades or biodegradable containers.

Project ALCAas it was called, was the product of masters students Martina Chetcuti, Owen Degiorgio, Luke Scicluna and Tara Zikic.

This led them to a landmark first-ever exhibition for Malta at the prestigious Milan Design Week event. And all this, in the middle of exam season.

The golden opportunity came after a representative from the event came across a local exhibit from the architectural community, and he couldn’t help but give them a chance to go further.

The theme for this year’s Super Design Show was ‘Looking Ahead’. An event where companies and organizations are allowed to showcase innovative and sustainable designs and products. It was about the future and how design evolves over time.

Speaking to Lovin Malta, SACES General Secretary Carla Cardona said it was both “humiliating and gratifying” to share the stage with some of the world’s “big guns”.

“Knowing that our work was displayed at the facilities of major companies like Stratasys, Lexus and Haier was extremely humbling,” she said.

“It was extremely satisfying to see the process unfold before us, amidst some uncertainty.”

“We didn’t know if the wooden structure would hold since we didn’t have the machinery to hang it in Malta. But it was a big hit and many Milan Design Week organizers have told us they hope to see us again next year.

The project essentially mixes land and sea waste into a “pulp” that could be molded into structures. This is the same method one would use to create paper. Although seaweed is mixed in as it would strengthen the product.

The main objective of the group was one: sustainability. A way to enable the planet to deal with the ever-growing problem of land and sea pollution.

In a few steps, and thanks to this initiative, waste management will be employed as a means of extending the life of an object beyond its intended purpose.

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