London-based Brazilian designer Mauricio Affonso creates products using luffa, a tropical vine plant that is mostly used as a bath sponge.
Affonso created his award-winning project the Luffa Lab to explore the different ways that luffa can be used to develop sustainable products and practices.
One of the designer’s creations is the Luffa Splint, a lightweight, low-cost, breathable, and all-natural medical device made out of luffa fibers. The splint is created using compression moulding technology and a water-based thermoset binder. The Luffa Splint is also designed to be antimicrobial and biodegradable.
Affonso works with a luffa community in Bonfim City in Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is also the recipient of the 2013 Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprises in Design, allowing him to focus on the development and commercialization of the Luffa Splint. He hopes not only to develop and promote the Luffa Splint as a low-cost and biodegradable alternative to the synthetic splints widely used in the medical field today, but also help the luffa communities in Brazil further develop their luffa products.
Affonso’s other luffa products include luffa acoustic wall tiles and luffa packaging. Scroll through photos of Luffa Lab products below.