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Mexico’s heirloom corn is dying out–but this designer has a plan to stop it

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Industrial farming of corn–not just for consumption, but for making materials like bioplastic and fuel–has led to less prolific maize species becoming endangered. In Mexico, designer Fernando Laposse is trying to stop this process and boost heirloom varieties of corn with a material called Totomoxtle.

Totomoxtle is essentially a veneer made of Mexican heirloom corn husks, which are cut and peeled off the cob, ironed flat, and glued onto paper pulp or fabrics. Each panel has a distinct pattern and coloring, ranging from deep purples and blues to light creams and browns. When they harden, Laposse explains, you can cut them in different shapes either by hand or laser. The pieces are then assembled for use in furniture or interior surfaces on walls, floor or ceilings. According to Laposse, Totomoxtle isn’t just about putting a new cool material in the hands of designers.

“Totomoxtle focuses on regenerating traditional agricultural practices in Mexico, providing income for........

© Fast Company