Cumulus Green 2024

Agro Biomaterials

Honorable Mention

Agro Biomaterials

Berta Daina Troguet

Elisava, Spain

The Agro Biomaterials Kit is a product that allows the creation of biomaterials from organic waste as a solution to food waste and as an alternative to synthetic materials. All this with the aim of raising public awareness among to establish ethical and sustainable values as a way of life. The fact that a new material can be created from organic household waste leads to a change in mindset.

With this Kit seeks to create the Agro community, where each contribution, no matter how small, helps research of new materials and continue to develop new techniquesas well as new applications for these new compostable materials. Thus generating a community where we help each other with the sole purpose of learning, go ahead and achieve a more sustainable present.

Considering that one third of the food produced in the world is wasted every year and that recycling is still an uncommon practice in our daily life, the key objectives in environmental terms are the reduction of food waste in terms of greenhouse gases, starting with the recycling of household organic matter.

The Agro Biomaterials Kit stands out for its educational character. The consumer himself is informed and made aware so that he himself can be the solution to the problem and can change his usual habits towards more sustainable and responsible practices with the planet. The fact of empowering with information and democratizing in an easy and simple way the manufacturing process of biomaterials through the organic waste itself, makes citizens part of the change. Making their own biomaterials, so that they can later use them in different applications. 

Air Gardens – Nourishing Our Planet

Honorable Mention

Air Gardens – Nurturing Our Planet

José Tomás Marchant, Javier Muñoz, Ana María Montero

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

According to the FAO (2020) 2.9 million people suffer from some type of food insecurity in Chile. Added to this is the fact that 700 million people could be displaced by water scarcity by 2030 (SDG, 2019), currently, Chile is the only nation in Latin America that will experience an “extremely high” level of water stress by the year 2040 (WRI, 2019). Water scarcity directly affects people’s access to food considering that desertification affects 7 million people and 72% of the national territory (CONAF, 2016). Therefore, food security is and will be a priority in the arid zones of the country.

The research raised the following question: How to provide arable land to arid areas? For this, the use of Tenso-textiles structures from the area was considered, which allows simple production, easy transfer, and installation. These textiles allow water to be captured from the air and directed to crop baskets installed in the same textile structure. This structure is hung to separate it from the heat of the ground and allow greater interaction of people with food. Its design is inspired by the fog catchers of the Chilean town of Punta Patache, located in the north of the country (Camanchaca).

The intended impact of AIR GARDENS is to increase access to food in arid areas of the country, which are not only considered extreme areas but also urban areas that today suffer the effects of drought and whose soils are deteriorated or limited in cultivable areas. and in this way increase the interaction spaces of the communities in green areas capable of generating new products, experiences, and services in the area. 

Artificial Transhumance

Honorable Mention

Artificial Transhumance

Paula Llorens Clark

Design Faculty at the Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile


PeñaBlanca is a town of livestock activities where the breeding of goats is the main source of income in the area. In this context, a study was carried out on the current problem of forage shortage for goats in the PeñaBlanca area, IV Region, Chile. This study was the beginning of the project Artificial Transhumance. We sought to address the opportunity to use an existing natural resource to counteract the impact of drought on small livestock producers. Artificial Transhumance captures mist that will be used for the irrigation of fodder, considering that the strongest impact for these producers is the death of livestock due to lack of fodder.

This design is based on the economy of livestock breeders, who base their lives on raising animals. A low-cost structure and project were created by adapting to the daily process of these breeders.

It seeks to impact the economy of a community in the north of Chile, that is cutting off due to climate changes. Villages and the cultural inheritance of this precious process of raising livestock are disappearing. That is why we focused on rescuing existing resources in that area, to insert an innovative system that positively influences their economy and lifestyle.

Design Process

By studying the climatic behavior of the area, we discovered that we could take advantage of thE fog, as when it is captured it becomes water, and that at the same time it could irrigate a specific area for forage plantations.

We carried out a deep investigation, where we concluded that there are about 350 goats in that area that require food to be able to produce milk. These goats eat 1.5kg of food daily. 1.5 Kg of forage comes out of 5 square meters daily. Each square meter needs 0.8 liters of water daily and can be eaten for a maximum of 3 days before it deteriorates due to the passage of animals.

Therefore, we created various stations, where the breeder has a zone planning calendar, in which each area will have the necessary food for the 350 goats for 3 days. After this, it will have to go to the next one and thus follow the plan. Secondly, we studied the amount of water needed by each station, to calculate the square meters of mesh to capture the exact amount of water. We concluded that each square meter of mesh captures approximately 6 liters per day, and each fog catcher has 350 square meters of mesh. Finally, results showed that 120 fog catchers were needed for the entire project. With this information, we designed the structure, which would enable water to be distributed on the ground, reaching the final form, of Artificial Transhumance.

AYA tecnologías

Honorable Mention

AYA tecnologías

Ronald Alan Moraga Arias, Fernando Muñoz Flores, Pía Pereira Alarcón, Liliana Leopold Mendoza, Carla Alarcón Villegas, Raúl Fuica Vicuña, Lucas Reyes Molina

Instituto profesional DuocUC, Chile

Currently, the production and consumption of food is a critical issue for our developing society. The cost and access to a sustainable, healthy, and nutritious food matrix is complex. This scenario becomes much more complex in the context of a situation of social vulnerability, humanitarian crisis, increasing the difficult for people to access sufficient nutrient sources for survival.

AYA Technologies project was born as a development of autonomous and integrated aquaponics and aeroponics technologies, and as a synergistic producer of plant and animal biomass to feed families in extreme situations, and now has become a collaborative project that benefits a community at risk, as it is a socially responsible system. Covering not only humanitarian support, but also showing concern for the environment; seeking to favour geographical areas that do not have the optimal conditions to develop traditional agriculture, either due to the same action and influence of the human being, such as natural disasters or the consequences of climate change.

Research Process

Students and teachers developed a searching process for existing references, developing the product concept based on the knowledge acquired in this research and the discussion during the development of the activities.

Thus, it also allowed us to determine technologies applicable to food production in vulnerable socio-food environments, thanks to collaborative work processes and guided discussion. Together, with the application of a concept validation prototype, we were able to determine technologies close to autonomy and self-sustainability, which were designed for its use in each context; all of this approached from the point of view of qualitative research of an exploratory and collaborative nature.

The project has two mayor impacts. In the case of the students, we see their participation stands out; From the beginning, their role was considered paramount. From the development of the logo that identifies us today, to the experimental work with the different generations that have participated, it has allowed us to define the “product” of this work.

Living the “AYA experience” has allowed them to apply the knowledge acquired in their years of study, and not only that, but a collaborative work environment has been generated, demonstrating that by being part of the team, they are not just students, but also, they are regarded as professional peers. This experience has allowed to have a perception of themselves, as part of a project academic community, where everyone has a relevant role and intense collaboration work.

Collaborative work allows students to identify their strengths and weaknesses and enhance their development beyond the course they receive.

In the communitarian point of view, AYA has become a collaborative project that benefits a community at risk, which has attracted international interest, as it is a socially responsible system. Covering not only humanitarian support, but also showing concern for the environment; seeking to favour geographical areas that do not have the optimal conditions to develop traditional agriculture, either due to the same action and influence of the human being, such as natural disasters or the consequences of climate change.


Honorable Mention


Saioa Altamirano

Mondragon Unibertsitatea, Spain

The DBZ methodology has been used for the development of this product. The following steps have been used: strategic search, exploration, ideation.

First, after carrying out a strategic search, the most significant data found were combined and focused on a single proposal, so that the opportunity was the design of “Energy-free food preservation methods for less developed countries”. For that reason, it is centred in African villages where hunger cases are common and increasing. To achieve this task, both context and user analysis have been made to specify people’s needs and habits.

Then different food preservation methods have been studied concluding on following the water evaporation method due to the climate of the area specified in the context helping the process.
After that, several product requirements were set such as the minimum storage time (2 to 3 days), general dimensions, use of natural and local resources without electricity or reduction of food waste from farmers. All these statements helped to define a Brief: “Design of an efficient food preservation system preventing food waste caused by agriculture and using natural resources for communities in less developed countries”.

Once these characteristics were specified, several sketches and drafts were made in order to create a visual reference about the product’s aesthetics.

Finally, the design was taken to a 3D programme where all the details were developed and the final result was obtained, which description would be the following one:

BI-HOTZ is a product aimed at communities in developing countries that keeps food fresh for 2-3 days. This is achieved thanks to the evaporative cooling preservation system without the use of electricity and carried out with natural resources. It is a simple process that could be easily carried out and comparable to an everyday activity such as watering plants, for example. In this way, it contributes to SDG 2 which is to reduce the food waste that farmers produce.

Furthermore, with its sustainable design, the environmental impact is reduced due to the foldability of the product and thus reducing the cost of distribution.

Bin Appétit

Honorable Mention

Bin Appétit

Jia Wen Tan

Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore

40% of items found in Singapore’s blue recycling bins are unrecyclable or contaminated. Despite efforts by authorities to encourage the practice, the country’s recycling rate has reached a constant low since 2019. A study conducted showed that 70% of respondents were unable to fully identify recyclable and non-recyclable items, hinting that our poor recycling rate may be largely due to the lack of effective education on the topic. I conducted a survey with 283 Singaporean residents, and learnt that the lack of seggragated recycling bins may cause many to be confused about what can be recycled. Furthermore, educational recycling labels on bins are often overlooked, and provides a limited range of infomation on recyclables.

I came up with a solution targetting young children aged 5-12, as education and good recycling practices should be cultivated from young.

Bin Appetit is an educational recycling campaign hoping to provide an unconventional learning experience by representing recyclables as food for recycling bins. Through a seggregated recycling system (plastic, paper, metal and glass), each category will be represented by a character: Plastic Pebbles, Paper Poppy, Metal Mabel and Glass Gwenn. This provides children with a fun educational experience by finding out what items they can ‘feed’ each recycling bin, by representing recyclables that can be thrown into the recycling bin as a food dish that the bin enjoys eating.

A recycling station consisting of the four recycling bins will be placed around community areas in Singapore, such as Bedok Heartbeat and Tampines Hub. The recycling station will include a display showing which recyclables can be thrown into the respective bins, representing them as food for the characters.


Honorable Mention


Isabella Ferracci, Matteo Orsini

Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Brushcob is a set of three scrub brushes for the skincare made with a biomaterial of our ideation based on corn cob, a massively produced industrial waste. This exact waste was chosen because of its properties, which guarantee the performances of the product.

All of the brushes have been designed following the hand ergonomics. The abrasive nature of the cob is used to exfoliate the skin and, thanks to the glycerin and the potato starch present in the recipe, the skin remains soft and smooth after the usage. For this reason, no other cosmetic product is required. Dipping the product in the water is enough to activate the softening capability of the material. The three brushes differ not only in shape and size, but also in the concentration and granulometries of the corncob particles, to be efficient in parts of the body with different characteristics.

The set is composed by a product for the face, one for the body and one for the feet or, in general, where there is the need for a stronger action. The the face Brushcob and the one for the feet share the same shape: they differ in the granulometry type of the corn cob, which is finer in the one for the face and rougher in the one for the feet. The Brushcob for the body is made with a fine granulometry and a bigger shape, that helps covering bigger areas. After each use, the products can be left to dry in the air, like soap bars, remaining effective for many usages. When they lose their efficiency, the brushes can be safely disposed in the organic waste.

The problems which made us develop this solution are coming from two different fields: the agri-food industry and the cosmetic industries. Both of them are highly polluting and generate significant amounts of waste, but in different ways: while the first one produces products that will be only partially consumed, wasting a lot of materials and natural and human resources in vain during the processes, the other one creates goods that often contain microplastics, dangerous for the environment and the organisms. Our product attempts to reduce the negative environmental impact of both the contexts, substituting the ordinary kind of scrubs and exfoliating tools with a single compostable and bio-based good, made with a waste that would have been otherwise trashed in big quantities.


Honorable Mention


Niklas Blum, Julia Maier

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

caffungo aims to create fair job opportunities for people at risk of social exclusion by growing oyster mushrooms for the local gastronomy on recycled coffee grounds. The project is not only super local, but also does good for the environment, supports local agriculture, secures regional value chains, and creates fair jobs.

The project was developed for and with the residents of the “House of Solidarity” (HoS) in Bressanone and later partnered up with the “Bühlerhof”, which brought the necessary expertise for cultivation and contacts for food distribution into the project. The concept can be seen as a blueprint for social actors, also in other regions, that want to join forces to create fair employment opportunities and grow local mushrooms. To do so, we researched, tested and finally summarized all the required information in a handbook. It includes knowledge about cultivation processes, concepts for the farm’s structure and ideas for the future such as marketing strategies.

The HoS shelters a diverse mix of people with different difficulties, like homelessness, addiction or refugee status. Therefore, the project must meet important requirements that result from their specific life circumstances. Language independence, opportunities for personal and professional development, solidary working conditions and independence from previous knowledge were considered.

caffungo aims to fulfill all these points while being at the same time as low-tech and sustainable as possible – for people as well as the environment. caffungos crops grow in reusable buckets on a substrate made from collected coffee waste of the local gastronomy. When coffee is prepared, less than 1 % of the biomass ends up in the cup. The leftover coffee is an ideal growing substrate as it still contains many nutrients even after brewing. By processing only local resources in a closed production cycle, caffungo creates a close relationship between the employees, the local gastronomy, and its food.

To ensure that the concept would work on the local market, we conducted a survey analysing the gastronomy’s response to our idea. A competitor analysis helped us position caffungo in the market and confirmed the locally unique concept. To not only assess the situation on the market but also the current state of the HoS residents, we conducted interviews and compiled an overview of their backgrounds, feelings, hopes and work experiences. After receiving a lot of positive feedback, from the gastronomy as well as from the potential workers from the Hos, we created a colourful caffungo branding. The mushroom stamps designed by the HoS residents, which were the result of a co-design workshop, became a central design element of the corporate design.

Furthermore, we were able to gain a lot of knowledge through cultivation experiments at our homes, which we then successfully tested by preparing six growing buckets together with a potential future caffungo employee at the Bühlerhof.

Overall, we hope that caffungo will grow, ideally leading to stable jobs for the inhabitants of the HoS and contribute to a more sustainable gastronomy.

Corn husk bioplastic

Honorable Mention

Corn husk bioplastic

Valeria Munoz Cardenas, Diego Nunez Garcia

Universidad de Monterrey, Mexico

Pack-a-husk is a project that aims to solve the increasing food waste problem in the world by experimenting with different materials. We were able to identify that a lot of primary materials are not edible; they are just waste. As we took the corn husk and realized that this is a part of the food that is not edible, we decided to experiment and create a packaging that was biodegradable with the husk. One of the benefits to this packaging is that it retains the humidity, so the food will last longer.

An important aspect of our project was the experimentation since we had to create a new material that had properties to retain food for a longer time than traditional packaging, to improve the quality of the food and avoid throwing away so much food. Regarding our final product, our team decided that the best combination for the final packaging will be a mixture of dried out husk and normal corn husk, this combination results in the most durable and resistant container.


Honorable Mention


Alejandra Alonso-Majagranzas

IE School of Architecture and Design, Spain

Our relationship with the ocean has changed over history. In the past century, we have changed that relationship to a more exploitative, one-sided one. We are coming close to exhausting our oceans’ underwater life to feed an ever-growing population. Overfishing will not only have dreadful effects on society, but also on the environment. This project focuses on creating an oceanic agricultural system that works synergistically with the ocean, that uplifts societies and economies in the context of fishing towns of Galicia, while creating food to feed themselves and others. There is one way we can do this, and it is by turning to a resource that we have always had but only now we have started to appreciate: micro and macro algae.

Algae is a versatile element of our ecosystems. When farmed, it helps keep oceans healthy and clean. Its uses are growing more and more everyday, but some examples of its applications are in food, energy, fertilizers, bioplastics, and clothing, just to name a few. Several towns in Galicia have a history of using seaweed and seaweed is embedded into the oceanic culture. This project takes seaweed farming to an extreme. The project aim is a scalable agro-ecologic farming system based on three different types of algae: red and brown (macro algae) and blue-green micro algae. The system will be represented in the main seaweed-harvesting town of Galicia which is A Guarda; but it could be applied to any other town in different scales and by changing the algae used. The project deliverable is a set of axonometric drawings representing the system broken down and explained.

Edible Sea-scapes explores the abusive relationship between humans and the ocean, and explored the opportunities that can emerge from looking at past practices for sustainable solutions. It takes the small coastal town of A Guarda, Galicia, as the place to develop a seaweed-based agricultural system. The town was chosen since it is one of the few remaining seaweed harvesting towns in Spain. The project itself proposes a system implemented in three phases into the town to substitute fishing and build more sustainable economies from seaweed farming. Variations of this system can be applied into any coastal town in the world by adapting the seaweed species and the activities of implementation.

The project was first presented in May 2021, later featured in Dezeen alongside other graduation projects. In October of 2021, this project was exhibited at the Dutch Design Week 2021