Cheers! – From Beer to Furniture

A by-product from distilling and brewing is to be transformed into furniture for Dundee Science Centre’s new ‘Culture Lab’.

Following his success at Dundee Design Festival last year, Dundee-based French furniture designer and maker Aymeric Renoud, owner of Draff, has been commissioned to design and make tables and chairs for ‘We are Explorers’, a new gallery for early years’ audiences being constructed as part of the CONNECT project.

Aymeric hard at work in his Dundee studio


‘We are Explorers’ will primarily be used by researchers from the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews, allowing scientists to study how young children think and learn. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to witness science in the making, observing how scientists investigate and test ideas with input from local children. When the lab is not being used by researchers, it will become a quiet, cosy and welcoming space for all visitors but especially for young children and their carers to enjoy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the centre.

The new gallery is part of CONNECT which will transform the ground-floor facilities of Dundee Science Centre, transforming the visitor attraction into an even more accessible community hub. Works are due to commence later this year, with the project due to be officially unveiled in early 2021.

The furniture will be made using Aymeric’s signature material draff, the wet grains left over from independent Dundee brewery, 71 Brewing Company.

Aymeric’s fascination with draff, which is often used to supplement animal feed, began when he moved from France to Dundee in 2015, studying Interior Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. He began experimenting, transforming these wet grains into solid material, mashing up the grains including ‘botanicals’ used in gin and then adding a binder, creating a mixture similar to a flapjack! The mixture is then transferred into a mould and put into a press for at least three hours.

From beer to furniture: one of Aymeric’s products


Lorraine Lemon, Head of Business and Operations, Dundee Science Centre said, “Our new galleries and spaces will create a hub for science, learning and creativity to merge and complement each other. We are delighted to welcome Draff’s extraordinary work to the Centre which echoes our values of supporting local talent and sustainability, breathing new life into local materials through excellent design and innovation.”

Aymeric added, “We are so pleased to be involved in a local project, especially one which values research and design. We hope, through Draff’s involvement, we can inform the younger generation about the importance of recycling and experimentation in design. From the grain texture to the layered veneer, the detailing and design of the furniture is aimed at encouraging young explorers to look closer and to inspire curiosity when thinking about design”

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CONNECT is funded by The Inspiring Science Fund, a £30 million capital scheme to support science centres across the UK, helping them rethink what they do and what they offer to the public.  The aims of the fund are to revitalise the offer of existing science centres through capital development, such as new exhibition spaces and learning centres, and the opportunity to develop meaningful and inclusive engagement with under-served and underrepresented audiences, engaging and inspiring new visitors. This opportunity to refresh how science centres are operating will lead to more sustainable business models and contribute to science centre sector development through shared learning. The scheme is co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome.

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