Researchers create bio-concrete from invasive plant and animal species

Central Saint Martins graduates Brigitte Kock and Irene Roca Moracia have collaborated on a range of concrete-like tiles that give new “economic and ecological” value to invasive species.

The material for the tiles, which the researchers refer to as bio-concrete, is made from Japanese knotweed and shells from American signal crayfish.

Collection en Route tiles by Irene Roca Moracia and Brigitte Kock made from invasive species
The material can take on a range of different finishes

These are among the non-native species that are causing the most ecological and economic damage in the UK. By adding value to them, Kock and Moracia hope to incentivise their removal and help restore local biodiversity.

“Invasive species removal and control costs the UK around £1.8 billion annually,” Moracia told Dezeen.

“The harvested material is incinerated, buried or trashed. We want to stop this waste. We do not want to create a new industry around this product but to relocate the waste the current system is producing.”

White bio-concrete tiles made from Japanese knotweed and American signal crayfish
It has
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B&M's new fire pits have caused a shopping frenzy – see what all the fuss is about

Lockdown restrictions are easing, the nights are getting lighter and our outdoor spaces are beckoning – hurrah! Whether you have a lush garden, a chic courtyard or even a balcony, it’s nice to be able to enjoy this seasonal change well into the night. However, if it’s not quite warm enough for you yet, or you want something to keep you snug when the sun goes down, a fire pit could be your new best friend.

Related: Outdoor living rooms – how to create the perfect living space in your garden

Cue the new B&M firepit range. The discount retailer has just launched a selection of fire pits, log burners and chimineas, with prices starting from as little as £25. When the brand shared an image of its Miami log burner on Facebook recently, the post received over a whopping 9,000 comments and was shared over 600 times!

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Brexit Britain "no longer a viable distribution hub" say small design businesses

Small design firms in the UK are moving their production abroad and setting up businesses in the European Union to get around a slump in business following Brexit.

Increases in costs and paperwork and falling orders from the EU are forcing designers to act.

Furniture designer Lara Bohinc has set up a business in the Netherlands due to the “untenable costs and hassle” of exporting to the continent.

“The UK is no longer a viable distribution hub,” Bohinc told Dezeen.

Designer Peter Marigold is moving the production of his meltable bioplastic FORMcards to Germany, saying that keeping the small-scale business in the UK is “just not viable”.

“Best to not have anything even touching the UK”

Furniture retailer Viaduct has acquired a Dutch business address to avoid having to move products to and from the UK.

“The best thing is to not have anything even touching the UK,” said Viaduct … Read more

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Show us your sensational garden spruce ups – for a chance to win £300 to spend at wilko

What kind of space would make you Feel Garden Good? A low-maintenance entertaining paradise with a patio and sociable summerhouse? Or a long and luscious lawned affair with a play area for family fun? Maybe it’s a neat balcony with a bistro table for dinner a deux? Or a cute and compact window box overflowing with herbs for cooking and cocktails… with a few bright blooms for added colour.

Whatever space you have to work with – and whatever your idea of an outdoor haven looks like – wilko is here to help you on your journey to a gorgeous garden. What’s more, we want to see your amazing transformation, for a chance to win more to help your garden grow.

Perhaps you’ve crafted your own garden bar out of pallets, turned a tired shed into a trendy home office, or planted out a beautiful flowerbed that has bees … Read more

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Ten contemporary furniture designs for outdoor living

Spring is here and we’ve rounded up 10 outdoor furniture designs on Dezeen Showroom to take full advantage of the warmer weather.

It’s the time of the year when outdoor entertaining starts to become possible for many in the northern hemisphere.

This year, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put even more emphasis on outdoor socialising as people eagerly look for opportunities to get out of the house after months of lockdown.

With vaccines slowly being rolled out around the world, people are turning to gardens, terraces and balconies as safer spaces to meet up with people than indoors.

Whether it’s al fresco dining, poolside lounging or outdoor entertaining, Dezeen Showroom features a wide array of outdoor furniture by leading designers.

From sofas and chairs designed with durable materials to withstand the elements year-round to UV-resistant and water-repellant furnishings, here’s a selection of the latest outdoor furniture on Dezeen Showroom.

Dala outdoor seating by Stephen Burks for Dedon

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