April 17-22 2018
Project Ne-Ro deals with the ecological impacts resulting from slate mining. Students of industrial design developed products, made of experimental slate geopolymer, for growing, processing, and storage of homemade food.
The main topic of this project was to transform slate waste into a fine-grained fraction, to define the optimal composition of the newly created slate geopolymer and to choose the most appropriate technology for the production of proposed utility products. It accumulates on mounds nearby quarries mainly in protected areas. The aim of the project is to remove these quarries through the application of the fraction in the production of household products, thematic focusing on the breeding and plant growing.
The project Ne-Ro of the Industrial Design Studio have participated students from other studios of the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, as well as leading experts from research institutions focused on materials development. From a large number of experimental samples, the two most suitable composite materials were selected - the reacted shale fraction and the shielded dust filament for 3D printing. Both technologies suitably complement their physical properties and enable the emergence of a diverse collection of growing and breeding products.
Exceptionality of the material confirms its first use in the field of product design at all. It is an innovation that has been supported by both students and renowned experts in the long term. After countless hours of experimentation and development spent in the studio, they eventually managed to find a way to shape, process, and transform the material.
The Industrial Design Studio of FMC TBU in Zlín, currently led by MgA. Martin Surman, ArtD., focuses on close cooperation with the commercial sector, which can be proven by a number of real products, registered industrial designs and successful long-term partnerships with many companies. The fast majority of the studio project is initiated directly by specific manufacturers‘ requirements and needs of the industrial sector. A positive indicator of an optimal direction of the studio is undoubtedly the employment of graduates in the industry, both in local and foreign companies.
Tuition in the Industrial Design Studio of FMC TBUin Zlín has the character of individual consultations. Students work on assigned projects individually or in teams, which prepares them appropriately for the position of a freelance designer or member of a companyesdign team. The projects of our studio are deliberately selected to be as varied as possible, increasing the versatility of graduates and their ability to solve adwei range of various design projects in the industrial production process.
The overall design of the Ne-Ro project exposition is visually related to the selected material and organic morphology of the exhibits. The exposition is composed of exhibition areas in the form of stylized slate boards with plastic layers typical for natural slate together with a vertically oriented solitary element communicating basic project information that forms the dominant of the entire spatial composition.
Impressive details are represented by the contrasting areas of the tinted glass, embedded in the coloured material forming the exhibition area, reflecting the geopolymer exhibits. The entire exposition is sophisticated and visually homogeneous and thanks to its variability can be dimensionally adapted to virtually any type of exhibition space.
Jo tiles represent hexagonal strawberry islets which elegantly replace the not very aesthetic black foil commonly used to grow strawberry shrubs. They prevent the growth of weeds and moulds in the soil. The architectural element of Jo offers countless uses. For example, it can be used for the cultivation of plants that have to be spaced at a certain distance apart. The tiles help keep plant roots moist. Another significant advantage of the tile is its simple installation, it can be laid at different distances, depending on the space requirement of the plant. The tiles, unlike conventional foil, are more resistant to weathering and can also be walked upon.
Thanks to Ecce, the limits of keeping aquarium fish are pushed further back. The Ecce lookout tower is made of a slate geopolymer. It is oval in shape with an oval glass front window. A waterproof light is situated at the top which facilitates orientation for animals within the tower. It is intended for all kinds of aquarium fish and other aquatic animals. It operates on the basis of a vacuum, fish can easily reach the surface, and yet still be in the water. Due to the glass front, animals can be observed on the way up. Therefore, the lookout tower naturally becomes the dominant feature and brings an original innovation in the field of aquariums.
The Formaggio cheese making kit follows the trend of preparing homemade food from quality ingredients. Due to the production of domestic semi-hard cheeses it is now possible to prepare healthy food without adding preservatives. The use of slate geopolymer, which is characterized by high density and compressive strength, is very convenient. Soft, freshly squeezed cheese is placed in the protruding centre part of the lower bowl and covered with a lid. Whey is gradually released from the cheese into the bowl, which then shapes it. With its traditional design, Formaggio makes reference to the craft processing of cheese making vessels.
The Teddy container’s function is to store honey. It is composed of three parts, a 1.5 litre container, a lid and a stopper. After removing the stopper, honey can be easily taken up through the hole in the lid. The lid itself can be removed, allowing for easy maintenance of the container, and also providing better access to the rest of the honey, which has a tendency to crystallize and cling to the walls. There is also a honey dipper for dispensing. It is possible to store the dipper directly inside the container or leave it in the groove of the stopper. The use of slate geopolymer prevents mould formation and allows for long-term storage of honey.
The design of the Salpe seasoning set integrates one salt and one pepper bowl with a central carriage handle, inside of which is a cavity for the storage of a spoon dispenser. The different shape of the teaspoon allows for the optimal amount of mixture during food seasoning. The organic morphology and overall functional concept of the Salpe seasoning set visually makes reference to traditional craftsmanship and is suitably paired with the chosen material and with the design and manufacturing specifications of slate geopolymer.
The design of the Corvus bird feeder is inspired by the shape of an open bird’s beak. A curved roof consisting of two identical ‘beak’ parts, protects the feed from adverse weather. Due to its simple wire hanging system, the roof does not come into contact with the bird feed and the product itself remains clean. Because of the dimensions, the feeder is mainly intended for smaller bird species, such as chaffinches, titmice and grosbeaks. The size ensures very easy handling of the product. The chosen material is particularly suitable due to its weather resistance, thereby extending the life of the product.
The Will fruit juicer is based on the principle of a traditional wine press. By its volume and nature it is mainly intended for homemade juicing. By moving the handle, weight is compressed towards the bottom of the container. Due to the technical design of the internal construction, the force required for juicing is minimized. With the help of slate weights, up to 0.5 litre of fresh fruit juice can be pressed. Subtle perforations in the bottom wall of the container prevent the penetration of pulp into the beverage. Peels are caught inside the juicer and the user can easily remove them together with the entire inner system. The juicer can be completely disassembled for easy maintenance and storage.
Unlike traditional fireplaces, Spark brings the possibility of table roasting food. The Spark fireplace can save people a lot of time due to its ease of use principle, which allows it to be effortlessly cleaned. The tabletop is protected from the heat by foot spacers. The shape is executed in the spirit of simple lines that are reminiscent of classic circular fireplaces. During the design process, emphasis was placed primarily on product function. For this reason, horizontal semi-circle grooves were created on the flat edge of the fireplace ring, allowing for the stable placement of roasting utensils. This creates a cultivated shape detail that complements the overall visual effect of the object.
The Zava water tank is designed for garden plants that need a constant supply of moisture and nutrients. Therefore, the product is primarily intended for tomatoes, peppers and other plants with similar needs. The biggest advantage of the reservoir is the gradual supply of water mixed with dissolved fertilizer, which can easily and directly reach plant roots. Zava effectively saves water by continuously releasing it into the soil through a small perforation located at the bottom of the container, so the plant has a steady supply of water for up to a few days. The particular design intention was to replace the common use of inelegant PET bottles in gardens.
The Krmítkobudka can easily be transformed from a feeder into a birdhouse and vice versa at any time due to the addition of partition walls. Therefore, it can be used throughout the year. It can be placed on a special stand, or hung by a wire. Due to this, the Krmítkobudka is suitable for both gardens and balconies. The partitions are made of rigid waterproof material and when inserted create a so-called ‘anti-predatory’ barrier that prevents raptors from entering the birdhouse. When these partitions are removed, the birdhouse becomes a feeder. In the larger version, the product acts as a shelter for squirrels.
The Press mortar and pestle is designed to crush both fresh and dried herbs and spices for food seasoning. Its minimalist morphology was inspired by the shape of a water drop. The inner part of the bowl is oval, consequently, supporting the perfect pulverization of spices. The handle shape provides for better gripping and handling during use. A hollow groove on the surface of the bowl prevents the pestle from falling even when it is not in use. Due to the use of a slate geopolymer the Press has a slightly rough surface texture, so neither the mortar nor the pestle will slip in the user's hands.
The Lair pet shelter is designed in a minimalist form of a sphere. Rounded shapes are generally more suitable and safer for keeping domestic animals. Lair is a multi-purpose nest suitable for all kinds of small rodents, as well as spiders, snakes, lizards and amphibians. The elliptical shape of the entrance secures a sufficiently wide passage, while the privacy and darkness required by some species remains. The nest is very stable due to its flat base. An opening in the base allows for easy cleaning, keeping pets happy and healthy.
Lure is a variable indoor/outdoor insect trap made of a slate geopolymer. The trap can be placed at the base of fruit trees or hung directly on tree branches to effectively protect the fruit from insects. It can be used the same way in interiors as well. The hanging system is very simple and intuitive. A knot at the end of a rope is inserted into an entrance hole for wasps, flies, and other pests and then fed through a small opening at the top of the trap. The remaining rope is then tied to a tree branch. A sweet liquid is poured into the container to attract insects which are then captured inside. Its rounded pear bottom shape makes it easy to maintain.
The design of the Tortam pot modernizes the shape of ceramic vessels traditionally used for cabbage fermentation. The functionality of the product is based on the prevention of air access, which is achieved by means of a water filled groove in which the lid is inserted. This ensures the carbon dioxide produced by fermentation can escape while the outside air does not penetrate the pot. There is a weight inside which keeps the cabbage as compressed as possible without unwanted air pockets. Two size variations were designed, one larger with a volume of 14 litres, and one smaller with a volume of 2.5 litres for domestic use.
Czechs are considered to be the most passionate mushroom pickers in the world. The design of the Vatoz knife directly reflects their needs. An ergonomically shaped handle made of geopolymer is based on the anatomy of the human hand. It is suitable for both right-handed and left-handed individuals. The blade, at one end, is made of stainless steel and is angularly curved. As a result, it is possible to easily cut the stem from the ground without damaging it. The shape of the blade is suitable for the rough cleaning of the stem from soil and needles. Mirroring the blade, on the other end of the Vatoz knife, there is a soft, curved brush for the gentle cleaning of the delicate cap, which can be done directly in the forest at the point of collection.