ben brady

Upcycled Bowl

When thinking about what to design for “the other 90%” I first attempted a flat-pack water filtration system.  A number of things about this were unsatisfying to me.  One, is imagining shipping this is planes or boats all over the world.  The amount of energy required to do this might be so bad that the product in some ways becomes negligible.  I realized that if I was to make something for people all around the world, it would have to be something where they could take charge of the making themselves.  Most places have some sort of nut or shell so I started there.  With simply taking Elmer’s glue (which is non-toxic) and pressing it into a mold that could be used multiple times, useful bowls and plates and things could be made.

glue blowl





























aerial view of small bowl made of pistachio shells and white glue












elevation of bowl made of glue and nuts












bowl with candy












plan view filled with m+m’s












confusion of bowl made of nuts holding nuts.  what?

















So basically you just take a mold (an existing bowl or tuper-ware and make a mixture of glue and shells.  Then use your hands to push the nuts to the edge making the bowl shape.  Remove from mold once pliable…make finishing touches and then let dry for a couple hours.  Then you have a bowl.  The bowl can hold food because it is non-toxic and could be made of a number of different types of nuts or shells or whatever.  The structural stability of the bowl is ok…but not great.  The shells become very strong when there is a lot of surface area between shells in contact, but becomes weak when two round bits are glued together at small tangential moments. 

Total cost: maybe a dollar, but i got a full stomach of pistachios while making it.

Pros:  Could be made anywhere. Simple to make.  semi-attractive. Has a purpose, re-purposing of otherwise waste material.

Cons: Not the best structurally, not water tight (could be)


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One Response

  1. LMLanphere says:

    I’ll take 144 of those.

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