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!

Want to … Read more

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Australian Economic Forecasts – The Forward View

There’s little doubt Australia’s economic recovery has surprised even the most optimistic of us.

Consumer and business confidence are high and 90% of the jobs lost through the CVC (Corona Virus Crisis) have returned.

So what’s ahead?

The NAB have recently released their updated economic forecast looking out to 2023 and are expecting firm economic growth but more moderate reductions in unemployment.

Here’s what the NAB had to say…

The economic recovery continues to unfold at a brisk pace – and forward-looking/high-frequency indicators point to ongoing strength inactivity and the labour market even as some fiscal support is wound back.

While NAB data shows some softening in consumption growth, the NAB Business Survey showed ongoing strength in March.

Alongside strong reads for confidence and conditions, capacity utilisation also strengthened further, suggesting that beyond just rebound inactivity, there is likely a solid underlying momentum in the economy.

NAB sees GDP as … Read more

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Turn Your Kids’ Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Turn Your Kids’ Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Creative People

by Sally Tabart

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Photo – courtesy of Crumb Kids.

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Photo – courtesy of Crumb Kids.

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Photo – Bri Hammond for The Design Files.

Once upon a time, Bindi Howarth of Crumb Kids worked as a textile designer for high-end fashion brands in New York and London. A few years after returning to Melbourne, where she was freelancing as a graphic designer, a friend asked her to help turn a student’s artwork in a print, to be printed on fabric and made

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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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