If you’ve never smelled sugar beets, consider yourself lucky. The crop has a rather unappealing odor, something akin to old lady perfume and rotting broccoli. Luckily, Italian company Bio-on is figuring out what to do with sugar beet waste by turning it, along with cane production waste, into MINERV-PHA™, a top-performing biopolymer that’s 100 percent naturally water-biodegradable. This proprietary bioplastic debuts in the design world in the form of Miss Sissi, the iconic table lamp by Philippe Starck. Presented by the Flos brand, Miss Sissi is the very first product made from Bio-on’s MINERV-PHA™, which means that Flos is truly avant-garde: this reinvention of Miss Sissi “represents the non-stop Italian innovative spirit, splendidly exemplified by bio-on,” says Piero Gandini, Chairman and managing director of FLOS S.p.A.
Miss Sissi Lamp in PHAs. Designed by Philippe Starck. Manufactured by Flos. Material invented by Bio-on.
PHAs (Polyhydroxyalkanoates) Turn Sugar Waste Into Bioplastic
It’s appropriate that a revolutionary material is coming to life in the work of a revolutionary designer in the service of a revolutionary company. Both Starck and Flos have made a name for themselves by producing work that pushes aesthetic and technical boundaries. By joining with Bio-On, the Italian creator of PHAs (Polyhydroxyalkanoates), this design duo is ready to “launch a new era” of bioplastic design. In fact, Bio-on managing director Marco Astorri believes that Miss Sissi is only the beginning: “It is now possible to create a vast range of objects in all of the sectors currently using plastic.” This is great news for the design world—and the world in general. Turning sugar waste into bioplastic means that many iconic furniture pieces of this and the previous century can also be renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable.
And how does Miss Sissi look all wrapped up in her new coat of sugar? As slim and shapely as ever! If you should tire of her silhouette, rest assured that she will simply dissolve in ten days, leaving no residue in her wake. Breaking up has never been so clean!
Via Fast Co Design.
About the Manufacturer: Italian lighting firm Flos began in 1962 with the purpose of producing modern lighting. The company has been experimenting with the possibilities of light and its delivery since its inception. One of their first projects was playing with a material called Cocoon, which is extremely pliable. Flos has made its reputation by collaborating with talented designers around the world—a policy that continues to this day. Their “uncanny ability to spot emerging talent” has led them to work with some of the world’s most creative design minds: Philippe Starck, Konstantin Grcic, Marcello Ziliani, Marcel Wanders, Sebastian Wrong, Laurene Leon Boym, Piero Lissoni, Rodolfo Dordoni, Johanna Grawunder, and Patricia Urquiola. See their cutting edge lighting objects at any of their international showrooms: Rome, Milan, Paris, Hong Kong, Stockholm, London, and New York.