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Oysterworks – Exploring the potential of the Pacific oyster in biomaterials

Hanna Tørstad

Diploma project

Industrial Design
Autumn 2022
Institute of Design

Steinar Westhrin Killi
With a material driven design approach, where the raw material source is present from the outset, this project explores the possible use of oyster shells in biomaterials.

The raw material choice for this project targets the current problem with the Pacific oyster in Norway. The occurrence of Pacific oysters along the Norwegian coastline has exploded in recent years. The species is invasive, threatening biodiversity and changing ecosystems. Tons are picked every year in an attempt to reduce the occurrence. These oysters constitute a waste problem.

Can the shells from Pacific oysters be utilized with the purpose of creating a new material and value of an invasive and unwanted species?








The project explores the possible use of oyster shells in biomaterials. The aim of the project has been to explore how design methods can contribute in developing new materials for the future. The process combines both tangible and abstract methods for exploration. With a hands-on attitude, different material compositions are explored and properties evaluated. The material samples are further explored and analyzed through experimental studies with users.


To represent the potential of the materials, three suggestions on how it can be applied in products are presented. The project, with the exploration process and concepts for application, aims to inspire and form the basis for further exploration and utilization of the Pacific oyster.
Hanna Tørstad / hanna.torstad@gmail.comwww.hannatorstad.no