Coconuts in husk ready to be cut open.
COIR, EXPIRED LIME, VEGETABLE POLYMER, OCEAN WATER
2022 Stage 1 in JIQUILILLO Nicaragua
2023 Stage 2 in JIQUILILLO Nicaragua
In a small fishing village in Nicaragua, with limited resources and an excess of Coconuts, Nicole Charles and I set out to create a formable material that relied as heavily as possible on the the immediate local materials and elements.
With constant power outages in the area effecting both the electricity and running water, we wanted to be able to create this material without having to rely on power. Using a non-electric gas stove and water directly from the ocean, we were able to bypass those issues.
On the beach near the property, a seawall made of large rocks had been erected in order to deal with rising water and tides associated with climate change. During the day, in the direct sun, temperatures would reach an average of around 40ºc and heat the rocks. We used this to our advantage in order to quickly dry the material so that mold growth would not happen in the humid environment. We also used the disinfecting properties of the sun along with the lime to help kill bacteria.
Stats pertaining to the construction industry in Toronto
The Coco material was then formed over found objects (a Fanta bottle and a piece of the sea wall) to create usable objects such as a bowl and light shade.
With more time and resources, our goal is to create an easily made biodegradable material that could be used to help curb the waste that litters both the ocean and land. It would help curb the garbage of the area and be an alternative to purchasing certain items in an area with little to no disposable income.
A lamp made with the Coco material that was formed around a Fanta bottle, and a scrap piece of walnut, and an LED bulb.
Two different bowls. One using a found plastic dish as a mold, and the other using a rock from the sea wall.