JAPANESE KNOTWEED
- A MATERIAL EXPLORATION OF AN INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES

KAJSA NIKLASSON

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SUMMARY

THE OUTCOME:

8 DIFFERENT MATERIAL SUGGESTIONS

THE PROCESS

WHAT: An exploration of the invasive Alien Species Japanese Knotweed as a suggestion for a sustainable material, without making any bad impact on the biological diversity and the society.

WHY: Instead of producing new virgin materials which gives a negative impact on the environment, we can change how we view recources and materials and add value to what we have growing nearby, to create sustainable business models.

PROBLEMS: Japanese Knotweed is an invasive alien species that is widely spread around the globe. It contributes to a high economical cost for the society and a danger for the biological diversity, in those places where Japanese Knotweed is out of its natural habitat. It is difficult to exterminate and there are several tested methods without satisfactory results.

MENTORS: Gunnar Anderung (University of Gävle) and Erik Lith (Lith Lith Lundin).

DESIGNER: Kajsa Niklasson

Eight different material tests that shows possibilities with this material. They show a variable opportunity and many ways to go. The result is an outcome of a great process and it is also a beginning of future opportunities, to open up from conventional materials to new sustainable materials. The tests consists of only Japanese Knotweed I n different forms, pressed in a hydraulic warmthpress and Japanese Knotweed in a mixture of addititives which is bioplastic. Interesting components as binding together using only heat, different baksida and framsida, opaque, interesting ytor, some very light in weight. Some bendable and some very hard. There is a broad possibility! Some possible usage for the material are; wooden products, cork, isolation, warm and heat protection, byggbranschen and more.

Litterature studies, interviews and survey was early steps in this process. The next big process was an explorative design process where I investigated the characteristics in the dead stem of the plant Japanese knotweed. This through a hands on approach, where I grounded, boiled, shredded, mixed with other components etcetra, to find out the true charactheristics.

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Dead stems in a field of Japanese Knotweed, and the form of plant which I used in the laborations.

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Immers into the properties of the stem, by go all in to the plants characteristics, analyze and let the material lead the work forward.

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In the laboration and exploration of the stem, grounding to smaller pieces was one of all the things I did. You have to manipulate the material to let the material show you its characteristics. Being creative is important!

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Many material tests of different approach/course of action, to find the paths that leads to the best solution for Japanese Knotweed as a material.

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Aesthetics, sensory and tactile abilities are important in the development of a new material.

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The result shows eight different material tests with different characteristics.

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