Pandemic Response CoLab is in read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation
Share via:


What if we could grow masks from algae that would not pollute the environment but enrich it.



Coronavirus waste has become a new form of pollution as disposable personal protective equipment literates our cities and floods our ocean. Most countries have policies regarding the wearing of face masks and coverings in public settings. The majority of the marketed face masks are designed to be singles used and therefore often only worn once. Looking at metropolitan areas, it is striking that the iconic surgery masks have become part of the street scene. Yet not in a positive way, since all personal protective equipment is non recyclable. Hereby an opportunity arises for designers to explore new biobased materials to develop face-masks that would not litter its environment but enrich it.

The idea is to design and grow an algae based face-mask that after usage would not pollute the environment but enrich it.

Who will take these actions?

In order to execute this idea we would need the involvement of the following stakeholders: algae lab, design studio, health institute and a production facility. 

Algae labs that could help: 

  • Algae Lab LUMA in Arles (France)
  • Material Lab TU Delft (Netherlands)
  • Microbiology Lab Utrecht University (Netherlands)



What are the projected costs?

Design: $2.500

Research: $10.000

Production: $5.000

Total: $17.500


Start October 1st - First samples December 1st 


  • Create and brainstorm on concepts
  • Reach out to design studio to professionalize drawings 


  • Reach out to labs and set up collaborations 
  • Receive first samples
  • Test with customers and healthcare institutions 


  • Reach out to production facilities and ask for possibilities
  • Receive final design and material
  • Start small produce and wait for market validation and feedback
  • Large scale production 


About the author(s)

Innovator & biodesigner that strives to restore the parasitic relationship between humanity and its environment by expanding the horizon of human imagination by exploring living materials.
Bob Hendrikx 
His works include growing world's first living home at the Dutch Design Week, buying a Detroit home for $1000 to realize sustainable housing, setting up a home subscription for fresh air, water, and light and giving nature a voice in the polluted Maldives. His latest project (Loop) researches the potential to turn humans into compost.

Bob is here to empower and inspire people towards a living future by turning science-fiction into reality.
Featured on (inter)national media platforms such as TEDx, Fox News, NOS and NRC. Explore more on

#nature #science #design⚡️🌱 

Share conversation: Share via:
No comments have been posted.Be the first one to add a comment.
You must be logged into your account to post a comment.
Click on the box