Ongoing research into the use and deployment of natural fiber composites within the design practice. Specifically, I'm developing techniques and material sources for a Spring 2011 class at California College of the Arts in which students will utilize new software and output capabilities to develop structure and form that take advantage of this process. Natural fiber composites once held an important role in industry. However, after WWII, when the Americans controlled the flow of oil across the Pacific and Atlantic, there was a uniform shift to synthetic fibers. Now, with the cost of petroleum challenging the auto industry, there is a renewed interest in natural fiber composite structures. As an added benefit, natural fiber composites use 60% of the energy of petroleum-based fiber structures, and can be placed within a closed-loop system to reclaim some of the embedded energy through cogeneration plants.
Working with suppliers in Europe and the US to create a unique process that will bring natural fiber composites to the consumer level.