As part of the colour material finish for a collaborative project, there was a desire to paint our physical product with a dark material coating. A team member and myself wanted to get our hands on some Vantablack, one of the darkest materials created, absorbing 99.965% of visible light. However, world renowned artist Anish Kapoor’s exclusive rights on the material presented us with a design challenge and opportunity to innovate.
As we were studying in one of Asia’s most renowned universities we sought to find a Chemical Engineer PhD student who could assist us in making our very own version of Vanta Black.
We had two key design challenges; a tight budget of £100 for materials and time, and a severe language barrier. Luckily for us, carbon nanotubes (the main component in Vanta Black) was available on Taobao (China’s equivalent of Amazon) and Google Translate assisted our poor Chinese speaking at the time.
After countless trips of being sneaked into Chemical Engineering labs, many frustrating late-night conversations across translation apps, and abstract scribbles on scrap pieces of paper we managed to create something we were happy with, with £15 to spare.
Team | Alex Kane, Imran Nazerali