Material Wonder

Sand is a staple material in the building industry and has been for centuries. Nothing new under the sun then. Or is there more to this abundant material than we would think at first thought?

As one of the main ingredients of concrete, sand isn't necessarily the first material you think of when thrying to imagine new and innovative materials for the design world. Yet this abundant material is inspiring a new generation of designers, researchers and startups. From 3D printing with sand on an industrial scale to new material research and beautiful hand finished tableware, sand is being used in amazing new ways. In the next few articles we have listed a few articles that we think are pushing the boundaries of sand as a material and tick all the boxes of what we look for in design and material research.

Ramel. A coffee Cup Made of Sand by The Foundry

Ramel - /Rmel/ (The Arabic term for Sand). Inspired by the ever shifting dunes, The Foundry by Tinkah set out to develop a material that tames the characteristics of desert sand into a moldable medium. “Ramel” has the ability to shift shape into functional and aesthetic products that emerge from their environment rather than adopting their surrounding. 

As homage to a global culture, The Foundry has designed and produced the humble coffee cup using their new material Ramel. The Foundry is an inventive creative space set up by Tinkah. With experimental exploration at its core, The Foundry gives Tinkah’s artists, designers, writers, creatives the dedicated environment to defy the monotomy of commercial design.

Ment + UNDER. Tableware using local sand by Ment.

MENT is owned and founded by the two sisters Ingvild and Sidsel Forr Hemma. Both have worked in the industry for many years, Ingvild as an interior stylist, and Sidsel as a product designer. Located in Fåberg, Norway, the sisters created their design workshop in an old ski factory in 2012. With the desire to design and produce future heirlooms, they focus on craftsmanship and unique design with a personal touch.

In Spring 2019 Europe’s first, and the world’s largest underwater restaurant Under Lindesnes opened. MENT was chosen as the main supplier for the design and manufactoring of the tableware for this restaurants 18-course menu, and has signed an Innovation contract with the developer.

For UNDER, Ment has designed tableware for the 18 course menu. They have used different production methods and different materials in this project. All products are made by hand, some products are first cast and further processed by hand. Other products are shaped by hand with different types of clay. The focus on nature and the underwater-concept was important in this project and the inspiration comes from the seashore, seaweed,sand and coastal rocks which all surround the UNDER restaurant. Sand from the beach at Lindesnes is used in the bowls to give the bowls a raw, rough surface. 

Areniscos. Tableware made from sand by victor castanera

Areniscos was born after reflecting on the high speed of production in the industrial market and the social consequences that this brings into our society. This system moves faster than our planet does and mostly avoids any kind of relation with the environment. Connecting with Nature helps us connect with ourselves and reminds us of our origins and those experiences that truly teach us “to be” and to feel human.

Areniscos uses a natural design process where the maker and nature are involved in some way in the final result of every piece. In this process a non-toxic material is used that perfectly copies the shape that water makes in sand. When the material is dry, the new object is taken off with the sand attached to its

surface. It is a very simple production system that uses only the resources we need without using machinery or creating pollution. The result is a group of decorative objects that have this story within their shapes.

Vlad Magdalin

Passionate reader | People person | The one behind All dad jokes
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