The Essence of Biocement, Julia Huhnholz and Friedrich Gerlach, 2022
Published: 11 April 2023

Congrats: Award by the German Design Council

With their joint bachelor's thesis on a biocement that can be produced without emissions, Julia Huhnholz and Friedrich Gerlach convinced the jury of the international competition for young designers »one&twenty« (formerly »ein&zwanzig«). As one of 21 award-winning works, the design duo prevailed against 545 entries from 134 universities in 53 countries.

The (conventional) production of cement is very energy-consuming and resource-intensive. In order to raise awareness of a serious alternative, the so-called biocement, and to illustrate the diverse application possibilities, Julia Huhnholz and Friedrich Gerlach designed the seating furniture »The Essence of Biocement« and made it from the material. Biocement can be produced microbially without any emissions or heat input – with the help of urea. In the process, recycled bricks and calcium carbonate are combined by the bacteria they contain to form a resilient and stable biocement.

The project was supervised by: Prof. Dr. Jan Willmann, M.A. Katrin Krupka and M.A. Michael Braun.

A special thanks goes to the Faculty of Civil Engineering at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar for their generous support regarding material development/testing. The same applies to the Institute of Microbiology of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Civil Engineering department of the University of Cape Town. In addition, Carl Roth, being an expert consultation and company for labware, life science and chemicals, supported the work with a generous sponsorship of materials.

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