Al Madda, inspired by environmental needs in Egypt, is an information system dedicated to up-cycling agricultural waste into new materials to replace unhealthy and environmentally hazardous plastic packages.
Beyond the industrial proposal of creating biodegradable materials from agricultural or household organic waste, the archive introduces DIY recipes for different kinds of packaging materials made out of household waste, with little or no additives to improve their properties.
I am a graphic designer, who loves everything to do with art, design, architecture, fashion design and everything in between. Within the realm of graphic design, packaging is one of my favorite fields of experimentation, it embodies branding, 2D and 3D design altogether. This project has evolved over the course of a year from initially just hoping to create biodegradable materials in collaboration with a Chemistry team, and then I decided to focus on replacing plastic packaging using the materials I create. I was born and raised in Egypt, so observing people throwing plastic packages, candy wrappers and water bottles in the streets, always made me angry. Litter has always been an intolerable matter for me, since I was in middle school and so creating materials that could biodegrade easily in nature, seemed reasonable. Knowing that agricultural waste has a huge waste margin, reducing it by reusing it to create new materials that would reduce and potentially replace plastic was my main target. When the pandemic appeared, it was only in the first month of working on this project and so it evolved into an individual project, where I got to create new materials in my kitchen while the whole world was baking during lockdown. Creating materials has been such a beautiful experience of experimenting and discovering new textures, I never knew existed and I never knew could simply be done from home. This is when I decided to create a materials archive in a user friendly form, to get people to start creating materials of plastic packaging for food, as well as the known hazards to the environment was one of my greatest insights for this project. In this project I got to really experiment and design from several perspectives such as material creation, material photography, illustration, creating video recipes, web and app interactive designing and simply bringing it all together. This archive was initially in Arabic but after completing the project, I wanted it to be reachable beyond Egypt, and this is when I created the English version as well.more