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From Food Waste to Design Marvels: Isaac Monté's Pioneering Bio-Material Journey

Textured Detail of Isaac Monté's Biobased Design

In the heart of Rotterdam, a city renowned for its innovative spirit and cutting-edge architecture, Belgian designer Isaac Monté is pioneering a revolutionary approach to sustainable design. With a background that spans the art academies of Belgium, The Netherlands, and Norway, Monté's journey into product design culminated at the Willem de Kooning Academy, where he distinguished himself as a product designer par excellence in 2013. His work, characterized by a profound fascination with unconventional materials and a relentless pursuit of mastery over them, has graced galleries and exhibitions across Europe. Beyond his creative endeavours, Monté shares his insights and methodologies through lectures and workshops, influencing the next generation of designers and creatives.

Textured Detail of Isaac Monté's Biobased Design

Monté's latest venture, a testament to his innovative ethos, tackles a global crisis head-on: food waste. With a staggering 1.3 billion tons of food wasted annually worldwide, and nearly half of all fruit produced for consumption discarded, the designer saw not just an environmental challenge but an opportunity for creative intervention. His project, initiated in 2021, ventures into the realm of bio-based materials, transforming wasted fruit into a valuable resource for 3D printing.

This design research transcends traditional boundaries, employing pastes made from natural ingredients—80% of which are derived from fruit waste—to fabricate functional objects. From aesthetically pleasing vases to robust furniture, Monté's work demonstrates the untapped potential of discarded materials. In collaboration with the 3D printing company VEDA, a unique extruder was developed, tailored to handle the specific viscosity of these bio-based pastes. This innovation addresses a significant gap in the current capabilities of additive manufacturing, pioneering a new direction for sustainable design and resource utilization.

Isaac Monté's Custom Biobased Material 3D Printer

Isaac Monté's body of work stands as a beacon of sustainable innovation, reflecting a deep commitment to environmental stewardship through the lens of design. His projects not only showcase the possibilities of bio-based materials in creating functional, beautiful objects but also signal a shift towards more conscientious manufacturing processes. In a world increasingly burdened by waste and environmental degradation, Monté's efforts illuminate a path forward, where design and sustainability converge to create a more responsible and inspired future.

Textured Detail of Isaac Monté's Biobased Design

Photos by Robert V Meeder


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