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Global Innovation Design (MA/MSc)

Marie Munzi

Marie Munzi is a design engineer working in the field of product design and circular design. Her projects merge design, engineering, and sustainability to create innovative solutions and products that help accelerate the shift toward a circular future.


Double Masters (MSc, MA) in Global Innovation Design at Imperial College London & Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom (2021 - 2023)

Exchange Master Industrial Design at Pratt Institute, New York, USA (2022)

Exchange Master Media Design at the University of Keio, Tokyo, Japan (2022)

Honours Bachelor (BSc) in Technology, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Major in Design Engineering at the University of Twente, The Netherlands (2018 - 2021)


The Biochar Tile, Semi-Finalist of the Mayor's Entrepreneur Environmental Award, London (2023)

The Biochar Tile, Exhibited at the WantedDesign Exhibition / The International Contemporary Furniture Fair ICFF at Javits Center, New York, 2023

HAKKO25, Ginkgo Prize Winner for Biological Futures of the Biodesign Challenge, Tokyo, Japan (2022)

Pearl, Finalist of the Royal College of Art Grand Challenge for New Economic Model for the Oceans, London (2022)

Calm Quilt, Semi-finalist of the Mayor's Entrepreneur, Discovery Fund by Imperial Enterprise Lab, London (2022)

JASSO Scholarship, Tokyo, Japan (2022)

Picture of Marie Munzi

Ciao, I am Marie Munzi. I am a design engineer. My goal is to use sustainable technologies and materials to create innovative designs for a better future. I thrive on contributing to society by creating innovative solutions by combining functional, social, and environmental aspects. I specialise in the use of innovative materials and waste-to-resource technologies and processes to design products that help accelerate the shift towards a circular economy, and a future that no longer produces waste, where nature can be restored, and our resources are circulated infinitely.

As part of the RCA showcase, I will be giving a sneak peek of the following projects:

  • EcoMembrane is a living microalgae facade for atmospheric CO2 removal.
  • The Biochar Tile is a tile made of carbon that filters air pollution in underground subway stations.
  • Visive is a 3D printer that prints light.
  • Dear Design, Let's Talk About The Future, Now is a dissertation that explores the ways in which designers can steer the way towards a circular future.
  • Pearl is a virtual reality game that encourages players to train the NEMO (New Economic Model Ocean) AI to identify waste in the ocean.

Ecomembrane hero shot
Side view of ecomembrane facade
EcoMembrane facade
Prototype of ecomembrane
single ecomembrane


EcoMembrane is a living microalgae facade for atmospheric CO2 removal.

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is a necessary strategy to mitigate CO2 emissions and limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050. The designed intervention seeks to mitigate CO2 emissions in the atmosphere by proposing a novel and sustainable method for carbon dioxide removal by immobilising microalgae in hydrogels.

The living material removes CO2 from the atmosphere through the naturally carbon-sequestering process of photosynthesis and does not require an energy or water supply, but simply operates through exposure to sunlight and CO2. The membranes' ability to operate on non-arable land allows for the facade to be integrated and suspended onto existing surfaces and buildings in urban areas in an effort to enhance atmospheric CO2 removal strategies. Their modularity presents the opportunity for retrofittable, flexible, and scalable applications. EcoMembrane demonstrates how biotechnology can become integrated into our cities to help achieve carbon neutrality.

The Biochar Tile prototypes
3 biochar tiles
Biochar prototypes
Biochar Tile in subway station
Sketch of biochar tile application
Wood prototype of biochar tiles
Platform shot

The Biochar Tile

The Biochar Tile is a tile made of carbon that filters air pollution in underground subway stations.

The subway system is a universally popular mode of transport. The concentration levels of pollution in subway systems are increasingly high, exceeding outdoor environment levels and the World Health Organization air quality guidelines. Exposure to these high levels of pollution has been linked to numerous health risks. 

The Biochar Tile uses organic waste from wastewater systems to create a carbon-rich biochar which is used as the main material to make the tiles. In addition to storing carbon, the material used can also passively filter pollution, contributing to the purification of subway stations. The tile has the potential to reduce odorous and hazardous gases, carbon emissions, and air pollution particles in polluted places such as subway stations. The Biochar Tile aims to provide a healthier environment whilst simultaneously storing carbon emissions from our atmosphere.

The design of the tile was inspired by observations of air circulation in subway stations combined with biochar’s material adsorption properties, such that its performance can be optimised. The tiles are modular and adaptable such that they can be implemented in different urban environments where pollution is soaring, such as subway stations. In addition, as the main resource to make the tiles is biochar from wastewater systems, it is easy to source the material from local sites and industries to treat the problems locally.

visive light sculpture
Visive printer sketch
visive light sculpture
control panel of 3d printer
stepper motor of 3d printer


VISIVE is a 3D printer that prints light.

The 3D printer was built to enable the creation of intangible light sculptures printed in the physical space of a 3D printer. The light sculptures printed are captured whilst the 3D printer is in motion through a long exposure camera. Although the creation of the final product happens in the physical space, the final light products only exist in the digital realm, enabling a playful interaction without the boundaries of a 3D printer that extrudes physical material.

VISIVE allows for the user to interact with the printer in real-time, in order to distort and alter the light sculptures printed through a playful interaction with the orientation of the light bulb and the colour of the light. As a result, the final light sculptures captured reflect the interaction between the user and the machine.

extract from book
extract from book
extract from book

Dear Design, Lets Talk About The Future, Now

​​‘Dear design, let's talk about the future now’ is a dissertation that explores the ways in which designers can steer the way towards a future that no longer produces waste, where nature can be restored, and our resources can be circulated infinitely.

The research explores the path which drove us to the throwaway culture we live in today and explores thirteen words that inspired and engaged me in the search for what designers can do to catalyse our way out of it. The thirteen words were inspired by exploring and studying different concepts, such as circularity and biomaterials, and crafts from Japan, such as Shinchintaisha, Kintsugi, Tsumukogami, and Shinto, which embody ideas of organic growth, repair, and maintenance. In my last section, I wrote a manifesto to designers, where I hope to inspire them and highlight the evolving role the design-minded individual can play in building, solving, and finding opportunities for the future.

extreme e ship
interface of gameplay


Pearl is a community-driven virtual reality game that encourages players to train the NEMO (New Economic Model Ocean) AI aboard the Extreme E ship to identify waste.

Every year, 11 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean, most of which stems from land-based sources such as littering, requiring a transboundary solution that promotes individual responsibility. Our research found that further data is needed on plastics already in the ocean. Our aim was to harness the power of crowd-sourcing through gamification to mitigate the problem of waste data recognition in the ocean.

Pearl’s gameplay is simple and interactive. Players are immersed into a virtual replica of a real ocean environment containing waste captured by the NEMO project. Players then navigate through the environment in search of litter dispersed in the ocean. Wherever litter is detected, players can observe real-life footage of that litter. Players are then invited to interact with the footage by labeling the litter. In doing so, players train NEMO’s AI to identify the waste objects in the ocean. Once an object has reached a threshold number of classifications, it is placed into a virtual gallery as a generated art piece. Players can then navigate to the gallery space to explore and purchase these art pieces. The proceeds from these auctions are then donated to ocean cleanup communities local to the original waste sites.

In partnership with Logitech and support from Extreme E. Finalists of the Grand Challenge at Royal College of Art.