Studio CRÈME has created the ‘Gourd Project’, comprising cups and carafes made from squashes and used to replace disposable cups.
The Jun Aizaki-led studio grows gourds in moulds to create the biodegradable cups, which go by the name HyO-Cup. It claims that these cups can be manufactured on a mass scale – offering a more environmentally friendly alternative to paper coffee cups, which are typically lined with unsustainable plastic polyethylene.
‘Takeaway cups and packaging are the norm in everyday life, but they produce an enormous amount of waste, which ends up in landfill and contaminates our precious waterways and landscapes’, explains Jun Aizaki. ‘What if nature, as well as being a material resource, could also provide a solution to this global problem?’
Gourds are fast-growing plants that bear robust fruit each season. Once dried, the gourds' strong outer skin and fibrous inner flesh becomes watertight – so these crops have been used for centuries across the globe as decorative or functional vessels. Crème adapted this method to create its own compostable vessels, using custom-designed 3D-printed moulds.
"We can grow gourds into customisable functional shapes, such as cups and flasks that can be composted instead of filling up landfills like the plastic alternative," said the design studio.