3D Printed Chess Set with Degradable Bioplastics by Cuibono

NGO Cuibono designs a sustainable, 3D printed chess set inspired by the stories of the displaced in Kharkiv, Ukraine, amidst the Russian invasion. Kindachess represents the divided nation under the war game — chess — by segmenting the board. However, when the game is finished and when the board is stacked to be stored the lines form the Ukrainian flag, representing unity and the action of returning to home. Led by designer Liam Hwang, the production was carried out with sustainable additive manufacturing techniques, namely FDM 3D printing with naturally degradable bioplastics.

Cuibono is the world’s first design-driven NGO, established to provide aid to marginalized regions damaged by geopolitical conflicts such as war. The organization’s mission is achieved through the sale of sustainably made products that authentically represent the narratives of these regions. Aiming to break the boundary between commercial products and activism, the team harnesses design’s power to serve all, particularly those most in need. The NGO’s first design, Kindachess, was inspired by the narratives of the current Russian invasion in Ukraine. With a commitment to strong design ethics, stakeholders with direct access to the regions validated each design process to ensure it authentically represents the locals’ story.