Saturday 29 April 2017

Edge's daughter invents mutating little 'green' men

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

HER dad has been at the cutting edge of rock music for over 30 years.

Now Dubliner Arran Evans is bringing her own brand of creativity to biodegradable children's toys.

The 24-year-old from Monkstown, daughter of U2 guitarist The Edge, is about to introduce the world to 'Mulch Men', toys that eventually disintegrate into garden compost.

The two-inch figurines are made from a biodegradable plastic derived from potato starch which, when children tire of them, can be safely buried in damp soil.

Arran, a final year design student of Product and Furniture Design at Kingston University in south-west London, has already made a name for herself with a designer cotton handbag, Baile Bag.

With her latest project, Arran said she wanted to design something for boys aged between eight and 12.

Her imaginative "green" idea was inspired by a concern that "a lot of toys contain a whole variety of chemicals and there's no way parents can find out what's in them."

She said she hoped that children would fall for her 25 figurines. She has also designed a "landscape" for the 'Mulch Men' to live in.

Once the novelty has worn off, children can bury their 'Mulch Men' in damp soil and, within two weeks, their appearance changes and after about six weeks they disappear.

"The spaceman turns into an alien, the soldier becomes a zombie and the mad scientist mutates into a goblin" said Arran.

Finally, rather than disappearing into a box in the attic, the 'Mulch Men' can simply be thrown on the compost heap.

Course leader Simon Maidment said the brief given to students was to identify a worldwide problem and then try to design a creative and meaningful solution to it.

Smile

"Our dependence on oil-based plastics is clearly a serious issue, but Arran's solution is one that will make a lot of people smile," he said. Arran's designs will be launched at Kingston University's degree show from June 6-11, an event that traditionally attracts top industry players.

Before going to Kingston, where she has won a competition for creating the college's corporate gift, Arran studied at Dublin Institute of Technology and the Art Centre, Los Angeles.

Her design talent is combined with a strong sense of social justice and her Baile tote bags are certified Fair Trade and Fair Labour, and support Kiva.org, the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, which empowers individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

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Irish Independent

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