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Designer Spotlight

Meet Egyptian Designer Rania Elkalla Who Makes Home Accessories With Egg Shells

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Innovation is what accurately describes the ingenious work of Designer Rania Elkalla. Unlike the usual combination of a wide variety of already existing materials, her “eggshell” products stand out. They are Egyptian-style fashionable and eco-friendly materials that represent a biodegradable alternative to plastic. Here is the amazing story of this stunning designer, her Shell Homage company, and its outstanding products.

Who is Rania Elkalla?

Image of Designer Rania Elkalla who owns Shell Homage and its shell products

Rania Elkalla posing like a silhouette (Source: Girltable)

Rania Elkalla is a 26-year old integrated designer from Cairo in Egypt. She graduated from the German University of Cairo (GUC), where she studied major product design in the faculty of applied sciences and arts. The designer is also a Master’s degree holder from the Technical University of Berlin (TUB) and German University in Cairo. Her successful products come from inspiration from her father, a 3D designer.

Rania Elkalla’s Shell Products

First and foremost, Rania’s stylish and vibrant products are the result of her belief that designers need to explore sustainable means of making their products. Also, she was worried that some of the material we call waste could be put into good use. In an interview, Elkalla recalls seeing her father struggle to crack nuts. That was where she got the spark to try new materials in her designs. She said,

“I got the idea from my father, who used to bring nuts, and we would crack them right before we eat them in order to have them fresh. We always try to eat organic and healthy food. I saw how difficult it was for him to crack the shells. Most of the nut consists of shells, especially coconut, 67 percent of it is the shell. It is very hard and I was astonished at how much it resembled wood, and I thought, why is no one using it, it is a waste”.

Rania Elkalla’s home accessory, the Shell Homage Hanger, bagged the award for the Furniture Accessories, Hardware, and Materials Design Category, 2016 – 2017.

Shell Homage

Shell Homage is the name of Rania’s project using biodegradable materials to make sustainable products. Most of her designs make use of eggshells and nutshell and don’t incorporate toxic chemicals. The painting is done using a combination of food pigments and transparent biodegradable resin. Due to these factors, environmentalists are heaping praise on the Egyptian designer. The material is also light, durable, and bears a close resemblance to colorful precious stones.

Talking about stones, there is an interesting thing to note about Shell Homage textures. Its properties, whether hard or malleable and transparent or opaque, are regulated by slightly adjusting the production techniques. However, this does not require any additional production material.

Image showing Shell Homage material by Rania Elkalla

Shell Material (Source: The Art Of Sustainability)

As a result, these shell products make use of easily accessible raw materials. They have a simple production process and they can be produced in a great variety of forms. Rania gets her eggshells from shops and restaurants. Subsequently, she grinds them into powder and heats them into different products.

Impact of Renia Elkalla’s Shell Homage

The impact of Rania’s Shell Homage is far-reaching. From protecting our precious environment from further pollution to introducing a futuristic material, she is also inspiring a new phase in the home design accessories. Shell Homage products can be composted in the garden when no longer needed. Thus, is the ultimate solution to plastic pollution or keeping things that you no longer need.

Conclusion

Rania Elkalla’s shell product is a challenge to other designers to start innovating with biodegradable materials. We are seeing a similar shift in the fashion industry where designers are using biodegradable materials and cutting down on waste. By doing so, we will not only be protecting our environment from pollution but also creating jobs for farmers who are usually the primary source of these raw materials. There is a world of opportunities out there and we challenge you to be creative.

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