NONA is a product design concept created as a course project in the Aalto University's multidisciplinary CHEMARTS program. The focus of the course was to find new purposes for biomaterials and create new products using them.
The course was executed in groups, and this product was created mostly together by me, Mandi Huuki and Viktorija Piaulokaite
NONA is a paint made to be an alternative product for the widely used acrylic paints. Acrylic paints include polymeric/plastic components such as micro plastics which are bad for the environment. We wanted to create an ecological paint consisting biomaterials instead of plastics, the "non - acrylic acrylic paint". This product is designed for the environmentally aware people, it's an alternative solution for conscious creators.
Acrylic paints are popular because they are very versatile. With acrylic paint one can create both oil paint and watercolor like finishes. Acrylics dry fast, stick to almost all surfaces, are waterproof when dry and very durable. We wanted the NONA- paint to mimic these features as well as possible, so it would be actually an competitive alternative.
The design process involved quite a bit of research on biomaterials and plastics as well as other paints and their components. We spent most of our time during the course of the project testing various recipes, analysing the results and adjusting them. In the end we settled for a Tempo-oxidized nanocellulose based solution that had satisfying similarity to the characteristics of acrylic paint.
Though the product is not ready yet ! Even though we were able to create many of the desired qualities we didn't have enough time to test out for example UV- or heat durability, toxicity or time erosion. NONA non-acrylic paint is still a work in progress.