water hyacinth

Invasive species as an economic resource: Lake Victoria's water hyacinths

Article: Invasive species as an economic resource: Lake Victoria's water hyacinths

Those of us in the developed world may have trouble wrapping our heads around the threats posed by invasive plant species. Sure, those massive patches of kudzu, for instance, aren’t particularly attractive, but we’re generally removed from direct effects on biodiversity.

Not so in places like Kenya. Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest body of fresh water, serves nearby population’s water needs, and provides fish for food. These people are feeling the direct effects of an invasive species: water hyacinths, native to South America, have infested the lake, and created a whole host of problems.

Designer Spotlight: Project Import Export

Article: Designer Spotlight: Project Import Export

Created by an architect turned furniture designer, Project Import Export (or PIE) was founded by Bannavis Andrew Sribyatta, who wanted to explore the ultimate concept of “living space” in relation to the complexity of nature. Using many quickly renewable materials like water hyacinth, liana, bamboo and rattan, PIE takes several design cues from nature (sort…