Cheer Project | 2019
‘Cheer Project’ is a research into pine needles in which this abundant and unwanted material is developed into a 100% bio-based and biodegradable composite material.
The northern region of India is home to the pine trees. These forests cover most of the lands of Himachal and Uttarakhand. But these states are facing menacing problems caused by an excess of dry pine needles on the forest floor, causing frequent forest fires and several other environmental issues. With a forest cover of about forty thousand square kilometres, the damage is incalculable with no significant solution to the problem yet.
By separating fibres of the needles through shredding, new applications and possibilities are created. The fibre is further developed into a composite with the help of natural binders and waxes. Some of the fibres are coloured with natural dyes made from local vegetables and spices. The developed composition is 100% bio-based, 100% biodegradable, recyclable, fire retardant, water repellent and causes no pollution or waste in the process. It is a solution that tackles the global plastic issue, locally, through an amalgamation of Craft, Design and Engineering.
The entire process of production was designed to be practised as a sustainable craft to help generate income in the rural areas of Himachal. It has been an experiment to understand the root of a local material and its potential and possibilities in an ever-increasing demand for alternatives for the production of sustainable objects. The ultimate concept rested on the fusion of local craftsmanship and sustainable utilization of a naturally abundant novel material; the rediscovery of the pine needle.