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Britt
van den Berg

Clay to Cool

Project details

Year
2020
Programme
Product Design
Practices
Social
Minor
New Earth

A considerable amount of food that is stored in the fridge is discarded daily by households. As we approach the boundaries of our planet’s resources, we need to rethink our daily use of the household fridge and how we can transition towards sustainable food preservation methods.

Clay to Cool is a sustainable fridge made from clay and cools by water
evaporation. Due to the design, several temperatures and humidity levels
can be achieved to accommodate for different types of fresh produce.
The 4°C that fridges typically cool at works well for certain products,
however many fruits and vegetables can more optimally be stored at
13 and 17 degrees with higher humidity levels. Clay to Cool serves as
additional storage to the household fridge and allows preserving food to
be more hybrid. This with the aim to extend shelf life and retain vitamins
in fresh food produce, with the ultimate goal to limit food waste.

Clay to Cool is made by 3d printing partially recycled, and 100%
recyclable clay, and therefore has a circular lifecycle. The 3d printed
cabins of porous clay conduct water throughout the structure and allow
the water to evaporate from the surface to cool the container, without the
use of electricity. The modular design can be tailored to several needs,
diets, household formats and spaces.

In the Netherlands, we waste up to 2550.000.000 kilo food per year.
Global food waste contributes to: 8% of total greenhouse gasses, 500Kg CO2 per person per year, 250.000.000.000.000 liter water per person per year, and 28% of total land use
. (source: FAO, 2013)

With this project, I wanted to explore the potential of cooling by water evaporation for the future kitchen. This process is led by my research, both involving the technical aspects like experimentation of 3d printing clay, as well as the more user-focussed relationship with preserving food. This project is still in development.