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Transforming Nike Grind Materials, Re-Used Coffee Grounds, and Fruit Waste into Composite Materials Designed for End Use.

Creating zero-waste communities and promoting energy egalitarianism through materials experience.

Photo of Material Driven Design
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Considering the embodied energy of “scrap” material combined with an overall awareness of the holistic impact of energy systems, flow and applicability on our environmental landscape, a systems level alternative begets rescue, as opposed to disposal of strategic embodied energy, as a  prerequisite for long-term energy, water, and food security.

A fundamental solution is to take a material driven approach to product design through the transformation of textile scraps and reused coffee grounds into material systems which offer energy, cost and performance benefits for diverse applications across the built environment, packaging, and manufacturing sectors.   

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Material Driven Design (MDD)

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Chosen Nike Grind materials will be used to create lightweight sandwich structures as illustrated in Fig.2 and discussed below: The core material is designed with a bio-resin, extracted from “fruit waste”, reinforced with footwear fiber fluff and reused coffee grounds & shaped to prismatic cells of varying wall thickness to provide high compressive and shear strength. The face-sheets are designed with apparel and footwear textile & tailored to provide high stiffness and strength.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Our products created through material systems built on the foundational principles of egalitarianism reduce cost through preservation and intelligent use of material (embodied) energy. Through the creation of utility and reduction of cost, the community as a whole is a beneficiary of energy effective material decisions, especially the underserved of our non-sustainable models i.e low-income households.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

MDD’s plan to scale the discussed involves leveraging the core of this project’s business model i.e hyper-locality and envelopes the cross networks of: (1) Connecting and establishing relationships with local coffee shops, farmers, grocery markets and restaurants by transforming notional links into substantial nodes of raw materials and creating a network of chapters through franchising. (2) Collaborating with local maker-spaces, governing bodies and municipalities to initiate the declaration of zero waste as a civic goal and efficiently allocate resources to reduce the cost of creation. (3) Creating open source platforms for inputs (inventory), processes (material driven design), deliverables (end product) and utilities (databases, tokens, and systems).

What inspired this idea?

With nature’s design components as the benchmark and its strategies as inspiration, MDD’s core technology is built by bilogizing the design brief to create resilient, adaptive, values-based, and life-supporting dynamic systems.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

E: Experience, B: Background Lahari Ganti: Mapping nature’s refined solutions to design challenges [E]. Materials & Mechanical Engineering [B]. Trevor Overman: Creating multidimensional meta units [E]. Economics & Software Engineering [B].

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

A collaboration between Nike and MDD will facilitate sustained transcendence of flexible robust solutions for combating global waste management issues across socio-economic boundaries and will thoroughly support in establishing concordant channels of creative growth. It would further facilitate us with the resources to manifest the shared vision to create sustainable economies and thrive by transforming this documented idea into tangible products.

This inspired (1)

Nike Tailored Program


Join the conversation:

Photo of Daniel Penge

Impressive submission - really hoping you move onto the refinement phase! Would enjoy seeing the how you might bring the idea to scale.

Have you had experience using bio-resins? Out of curiosity, why fruit pectin out of all the options? My team submitted a similar concept. Check it out! We are leaning towards something soy based but mostly because it is more commercially available.

Would love to chat. GOOD LUCK!

Photo of Material Driven Design

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the pat, enjoyed envisioning your team's submission too!

Have you had experience using bio-resins?

Yes. MDD developed the material technology for bio-degradable surfboard fins using natural fibers, wood “waste” from a local carpenter and a bio-resin from a partner for professional surfers in Oceanside, California & manufactured the product via vacuum infusion.


(1) Not to completely trust the product specifications (especially if you haven’t dealt with the supplier before)
(2) Creative design of experiments lead to novel solutions.
(3) Embrace the “wabi sabi” aesthetic when it comes to customized product-services.
Why fruit pectin out of all the options?

Reasoning from first principles . . .

(1) Monetary Cost & Scalability

Building on our core principles of energy egalitarianism and hyperlocality, the deliverables of this concept i.e. material driven design would be feasible if we keep our raw material cost as low as possible and create nodes of sustainable systems which would inherently amalgamate to a zero-waste network.

(2) Energy - Food - Water Cost:

Re: Energy - Water - Food Nexus

MDD rejects exceptionalism which creeps in through non sustainable models. We are working towards creating closed loop systems and bridging the socio-economic gap.

(3) Existent relationships i.e consultants' backgrounds.

Also, we like oranges. :D

Let’s chat, create and get the products to the market! (

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Material Driven Design ,

A reminder that the ideas phase of this Challenge closes in less than one hour, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please have your submission updated by this deadline with content to all proposal questions complete.

Excited to have you in the Challenge!

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Material Driven Design team! Great to see your idea in the Challenge. I'm curious, are you currently producing these materials?

Additionally, I did want to ensure you were aware that the goal of this challenge is not to source concepts that Nike would bring to market under their own brand. Rather, the goal of this Challenge is to support innovators in creating their own products and ventures using Nike Grind materials, but independent of Nike, with the potential for partnership.

Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Material Driven Design

Hi Lauren,

Thanks for taking the time to go through the documentation.

The material technology is under development and prototypes are being produced in the process.

And yes, while we are aware that the goal is to use Nike Grind materials to source products under our brand, we are also confident that our idea will inherently create channels of collaboration.

Please feel free to ask/offer any other questions/suggestions you may have!