Designer Jaime Tai explores the possibility of using trehalose, a sugar that protects from dehydration, in clothing and skincare

Designer Jaime Tai is exploring how sugar-based products might enable us to survive in a world with less water. Tai’s speculative design project, Trehalose Artefacts, conceptualizes a range of clothing and skincare using trehalose, a naturally occurring sugar that protects cells from dehydration in extreme environments.

Trehalose Artefacts may seem like a design concept for a distant future. However, a 2010 study by the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) revealed that prolonged drought may threaten much of the world within decades. Scientists have also warned that dry spells, though primarily a consequence of natural climate variability, are intensifying due to global warming caused by human emissions. If a drought-stricken future is in fact imminent, how will humans adapt to survive? Could sugar-embedded products be the key to human survival?

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