The three students during the work process.

Discovering, finding, testing and executing are actions which many product designers carry out when they want to innovate and create projects using new materials. However, often nature makes the first move, and in these types of processes, the most basic materials, that have lived among us for hundreds of years, are just waiting for us to discover all their possibilities. In Mexico, a country with a majority rural population who live in close relationship with agriculture rural areas, one of the most cultivated and consumed crops is corn, whose leaves are reused in numerous ways to serve as makeshift containers or packaging to hold other foods.

It is for this reason that the city’s Centro Universitario, to mark the traditional Day of the Dead held in the Central American country during the first days of November, launched a project to discover other uses for this natural product. This was born “Corn husk cups”, a research and development project carried out by a group of students of this university centre (YenHao Chu, Nicolás de Vismes and Arturo Lezama).

This cooperative workshop focused on finding a practical and functional solution for corn husks, and developed some small containers made of corn fibre, coated with edible wax, which allowed them to be used to take shots of tequila, the traditional drink of Mexico. In this way, a fully disposable product such as corn husks are transformed into an eco-friendly container for culinary use.

Photos: Anastasia Mityukova/Benoit Jeannet

www.yenhaochu.com

“Cups of corn leaves” final project.

This article is also available in Español