Designing with Arenga sugar from Indonesian Rainforest
Mar 2019 - ongoing
This project is about developing a rainforest sugar-based product for The Wild Bunch (www.thewildbunch.network), a company working with natural forest systems and sustainably integrating the forest as a part of the production facilities. The company produces and promotes a range of products that are wild-harvested from rainforests in Indonesia, without harming the forest, but protecting its biodiversity, as opposite to the destructive palm oil industry. The company would like their products and story to reach the end-consumer.
The goal for this graduation project is to design a product, made of or for the Arenga sugar, which can be served in a café as new sweetener for hot drinks. The unique properties of the brown Arenga sugar are found by tinkering with the material, trying to shape and process it. Sugar is a very versatile material, which can range from fine powdered sugar over normal granulated sugar to big rock candy, and from airy marshmallow, meringue and cotton candy to syrup and glass-like sugar, ranging from soft to hard. Besides exploring ways to shape the sugar itself, also the design of a suitable container or tool to serve it is considered. The design is influenced by criteria identified from the context, taking the guests, café, suppliers and production into account. In all stages sustainability is a driving force, trading fair, protecting the environment and making good use of the resources, while avoiding waste. We would like the Arenga sugar to be served in a special way, to add to the coffee / tea experience and make the guests value the sugar, while showing them the importance and richness of the forest.
Project coaches: Rick Schifferstein and Bahar Barati
Partner: The Wild Bunch