Rice Straw Enterprise

Rice Straw Enterprise is redefining rice straw as a resource and integrating it into locally produced materials. In collaboration with a network of local farmers and craftspeople, the designers are imagining new ways to connect rice cultivation to its ecological and social surroundings.

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Reducing the environmental impact of rice cultivation by developing materials and applications that benefit the bioregion.

Highly abundant, rice straw is left over from Camargue rice cultivation. It is traditionally disposed of using the slash-and-burn technique, which is ecologically devastating. Atelier LUMA has identified that, as a raw material, rice straw has properties suited to a wide range of applications. Rice Straw Enterprise aims to reduce the ecological impact of rice cultivation in the bioregion and develop new economic prospects while engaging with the local community.

An initial research project called “May Your Rice Never Burn” was conducted in partnership with the Camargue Regional Natural Park and the Tour du Valat research institute. It employed rice straw in the context of a community activity to protect the Camargue coastline. With weaving, braiding, and wickerwork techniques, rice straw was used to produce natural reinforcements for dunes damaged by erosion. In this way, the harmful impact of slash-and-burn is eliminated, and replaced by a process of preservation.

The second phase of research, Rice Straw Enterprise, was started following deeper study into rice straw’s characteristics. Its thermal and acoustic isolation properties are being put to use in tatami mats and isolation panels. The aesthetic qualities and interior design potential of rice straw are also being showcased, with the production of filling material, wall treatments, and wall panels.

Rice Straw Enterprise is making rice’s importance in local culture more visible, by reversing its harmful impact on the environment, and by giving it a role in the furnishing and architecture sectors.

Project team

  • Atelier LUMA

    Arles, France

  • Tour du Valat

    Arles, France

  • Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue

    Arles, France

  • PETR (Pôle d’Equilibre Territorial et Rural)

    Arles, France

  • Association le Village

    Cavaillon, France

  • De Paille et d’Osier

    Beaucaire, France

  • Atelier d’un Siège à l’Autre

    Fontvieille, France

  • Histoire de Sièges

    Robion, France

  • Estelle Jullian

    Architect

    Valencia, Spain

  • Silvia Caballero

    Artisan and Artist, Balikypopoy

    Valencia, Spain

  • Maria Vidagañ

    Artisan and Artist, Balikypopoy

    Valencia, Spain

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