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The Prickly pear, native from South America, arrived to the Mediterranean shores on the Spanish ships of Cristoforo Colombo, here became a common plant known for its very peculiar, colourful comestible fruits.

The plant is invasive, doesn’t need nurturing or major resources of energy to sustain, its structure has innate water reserves and propagates by cutting. When dry, it can be exfoliated and a wooden fibre with a peculiar pattern can be extracted.

The research, named ‘Nuovomondo’ (‘New World’) is focused on understanding the fibre’s physical and mechanical properties, aiming to consider it as a new sustainable material for product design. The fibre has a unique natural pattern, its properties open to the design of a totally new craft, able to produce items with an original aesthetics. The objects produced with this fibre are completely organic, free of synthetic components like glue or varnish.