Material Monday: Marble Dust

Material Monday: Marble Dust

Posted 27 March 2017 by Nirvana CPH

This week’s Material Monday focuses on the invisible resource marble dust, brought to you by Seetal Solanki of Ma-tt-er.

Dust. A substance that wouldn’t traditionally be considered a material. However designer Mi Zhang a recent graduate from Material Futures at Central Saint Martins 2016 has been exploring this very idea into tangible objects for the home.

The dust is captured from a large mining quarry in Quyang Town, part of Baoding City in the province of Hebei and China which in turn improves air quality helping reduce the amount of pollution created by the marble mining industry.

The marble mining industry is so vast and happens to be the “second largest industry of Quyang Town due to its rich mineral resources”, Zhang explains in her video. The industry has provided a great income to the community, but has in turn created a severe amount of dust pollution and has impacted on environmental issues.

Zhang’s ‘Mining Dust’ collection of vessels aims to improve air quality combining the marble dust with a pine resin and local natural pigments engineering a biodegradable material which can be utilised into a functional object of sorts. Possibly providing a second income to the community and also improving the health of the workers to this huge industry.

Raw Material, are a studio half based in India and London, they create assemblages of furniture and objects from disused pieces of marble that only use joinery techniques to fix the separate parts in place. The sheer weight of the marble allows for the individual pieces to stay in place, much like bodyweight training or exercise. There are no adhesives, fixtures or fittings which is quite remarkable, especially when you see the pieces in person.

Raw Material’s India base, has now progressed this process even further by using the marble dust that is created from the assemblages into a limestone plaster. The plaster acts as a mortar to lay the disused pieces of marble into bricks which has been transformed into a Farmhouse building on the marble quarry site in Rajasthan, India. A studio practice that understands the very meaning behind responsible design.

Such an innovative use of an invisible resource which takes into account whole systems thinking with just using one element to its full potential.