Isn’t the egg a fascinating piece of architecture? A hard protective shell with life contained within – built by the chicken within its own body. Similar to the egg, Shaakira views buildings as ‘shells’ protecting us from elements that may cause harm or discomfort. This inspired her to use eggshell waste in this ongoing research project aimed at innovating a circular building block. 

As we find ourselves in the midst of a second wave of the pandemic, once again the domestic domain becomes a multifunctional space. Shaakira opted to use her own kitchen as a laboratory where she cooks up experiments with eggshell waste in combination with other ingredients and waste streams that she finds around her. The space, tools and ingredients have been transforming daily to help her research along. 

Scientifically, eggshell is composed primarily of CaCO3 (calcium carbonate). This compound can also be found in limestone which has been used as a building material as early back as the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Limestone is also used in modern day cement production. Calcium carbonate can be found in caves, composing more sculptural formations. 

After the first material samples were made, Shaakira began a deeper research on calcium carbonate and its properties. She plans to continue the research and experimentation, while at the same time allow her kitchen to keep morphing as a space for researching and crafting a future material. The first samples are currently on show at the Dutch Design Week 2020 Virtual Festival under the Bio Art Laboratories Symbiocene Forest.

Boiling shells to remove bacteria
Lightly baking shells to dry them off
Exhibition of samples at Bio Art Laboratory Eindhoven DDW 2020
Sample outcome