Skip to main content
Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)


New Life Of Tong Cao - New manufacturing techniques and applications

New Life Of Tong Cao. New manufacturing techniques and application for Taiwanese Rice Paper Plant.

Tong Cao (Taiwanese Rice Paper Plant) is a subtropical plant that native to Taiwan. Tong Cao has thousands of years of history being used as art and craft material and traditional medicine uses. However, this plant was forgotten after the colonization and the invention of plastic, Tong Cao industry disappeared. This project focuses on developing new manufacturing techniques and developing new applications to bring the Tong Cao industry back to life.

There is a wide range of manufacturing and applications that are being explored. From art and design approaches including furniture design, 3D printing, and moulding material to practical product alternatives such as insulation alternatives, packaging, and disposable cosmetic product alternatives.

Coffee table made with natural biomaterial
Tong Cao Coffee Table Tong Cao Coffee Table made with raw Tong Cao pith structure with resin table top casted out of Tong Cao 3D printed mould.
Origami form exploration, Bio material. Structure design, material engineering
Water Sculpting Origami - form exploration of Tong Cao pithA series of origami techniques explored with raw Tong Cao pith, a study of the structure and form for innovation structure design.
Biomaterial 3D printing, Recycle Bio Material
3D Printed Tong Cao Vegan 3D printed paste made of Tong Cao is completely edible and recyclable. The character of absorbing liquid and fire proof makes the 3D mould extremely versatile with the usage across industries: ceramic slip cast mould alternative to plaster, hot glass blowing mould, resin casting alternative to plastic and silicone mould.


Taiwanese Rice Paper Plant

An innovator requires knowledge and passion across disciplines. Jing Liau is an innovative designer from Taiwan who has backgrounds across a wide range of industries. Having prior degrees in Business Administration and Menswear Design Technology has set up the foundation for merging art and craft in a creative and mature style. After studying computer science and coding, Jing expanded her knowledge into digital art, communication and fabrication to improve and push her study and design into wider applications with new cutting-edge ideas. 

Jing's design philosophy and focuses are sustainability, in the era of the urge to change, Jing spent most of her studies on finding new future materials, biomaterials and sustainable systems. Material science and research have always been a passion of Jing's, this can be seen across her menswear collection, product designs and material innovation projects. The thirst for knowledge and desire of learning from new collaborators across industries illustrated Jing's ability for innovation and the talent for being a futuristic designer for a better world. 

Jing Liau, a Taiwanese multidisciplinary designer with background in fashion, business, computer science, material engineering.

Innovation design engineering is a platform and a lab for cutting-edge creativities. During the IDE course, I have been able to merge my knowledge in business, textile, material, digital software and design with engineering to challenge my imagination and the ability to improve the world we are living in.

In IDE, I have been passionate about weaving myself into a wide range of industries and expanding my knowledge for future career development. I have done a series of projects including Craft, Furniture, VR gaming design, Soft Robotic Design, Smart Textile for Medical Technology and Bio Future Material Engineering. Having a creative and artistic vision and being able to translate the concept into a wide range of media in critical thinking and design process is the main quality of being an innovative designer.

My final solo project is focusing on a natural material "Tong Cao", a plant that is native to Taiwan. From understanding the properties and the historical uses of the material to coming up with new manufacturing techniques with a wide range of new applications for local industry economics.