Common Sands 2.0

Research into the future-oriented use of our raw materials for the production of utensils

The project

Research into the future-oriented use of our raw materials for the production of utensils.

THE CHALLENGE
To address the problem of unused waste and create a valuable product, that can be again 100% recycled. Saving energy costs and reducing CO2 without the need to extract nature’s resources to help protect the natural landscape. To provide a category of new applications for waste material endless design possibilities.

THE SOLUTION
Common Sands is a research project looking at the future-oriented use of our raw materials for the production of utensils. By reusing already mined and transformed raw materials, (so-called waste materials), and avoiding exploitation in nature, the project tries to offer a different perspective on the millions of tons of waste material available. The aim is to produce modules such as coloured translucent tiles and bricks for architectural use. The properties of the glass (colour, texture and structure) will be a defining factor in the design of the modules. The use of cast (moulded) glass is favoured for its technical and economic aspects. Using one tonne of recycled glass saves one point two tonnes of raw virgin material, prevents 60% of CO2 emission and cuts energy use by up to 25%.

STUDIO PLASTIQUE (Belgium)

Studio Plastique is an investigative design practice rethinking and reflecting upon existing systems and structures, striving to reset relationships towards nature, production methods, material cycles or economic potentials.

Project website: studioplastique.be

SNOHETTA (Austria)

Snohetta is an integrated design practice of architecture, landscape, furniture, graphic and brand design. Their work strives to enhance our sense of surrounding identity and relationship to others and the physical space we inhabit.

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

We initiated the project Common Sands about 3 years ago. It started as a research into the abundant resources available as trash from e-waste. For design, material is an important ingredient. So it occurred quite naturally to us to start by questioning the resources that are needed for the making of new products.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

We realised also that sand tops everything in terms of importance for our current civilisation. Sand, in fact, is the 3rd most consumed resource on earth, after air and water. It is commonly perceived as a rather banal material. We enjoy it on our beaches, but few know it makes our electronic devices function, our homes light and warm, our communication fast (and ever faster)… to name a few. We could even go as far as to say our current Age is the Sand Age, similarly to the Bronze- or Iron Age.

This might be surprising, as it is commonly perceived as a rather banal material. We enjoy it on our beaches, but few know it makes our electronic devices function, our homes light and warm, our communication fast (and ever faster) and our energy more sustainable, to name a few. When looking closer into the processes sand goes through to become glass, microchips, solar cells, or aerogel for example, one enters a world of such sophistication and complexity that it leaves one in awe. This awe tarnishes further along the road, when we find the devices integrating these jewels of sand technology at the end of their life, on big heaps.

In the European context, much is done to recycle and market resources into a new cycle. This works well for metals, less for plastics and not so well for the sand based materials integrated into electric and electronic appliances. Of all the effort done to extract, transport, refine and process sand into the most complex of parts, none is done to recycle glass, silicon, silicones, microchips, glass ceramics and consorts. Let alone there being any effort done designing products allowing for a circular use of materials. Sand, apparently, is too abundant, too cheap to care for.

A new economic and ecologic context is necessary to make a shift, finding new uses for something that we currently waste

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

Our common journey together with Snohetta lead us to understand bottlenecks and opportunities in terms of upscaling – from resource collection to transformation and production. The first challenge was the ideation of the actual product, since the material brings in new challenges for producers we had to work on a design that could be made efficiently. That’s how we came about Common Sand -Tiles: Tiles have a long and pertinent tradition in architecture: covering roofs, floors, walls or other objects such as tabletops, used for sealing surfaces from moisture, being hygienic or solely decorative. Finally they allow for energy efficient and large scale production using E-Waste glass for beautiful products.

 Apart from that our partnership came to understand that E-Waste recycling isn’t E- Waste recycling. The procedures are very unique to the individual E-Waste recycling companies, with one goal in common: following the WEEE recycling standards that are demanded by the European Union. Glass not being high up on the agenda, is treated therefore with little attention. Thus a new challenge lays in expanding the network in recycling industries across Europe to enable the reuse of the material as widely as possible.

 On the other hand we undeniably had to face challenges in regards to resourcing our materials for the prototyping of this project. With many closures and security restriction related to Covid-19 we required a lot of flexibility – for the production of the prototypes, tests with producers etc.

THE COLLABORATION:

Working across disciplines and specialisations, is essential for a project like Common Sands. There are so many people involved in the recuperation, analysis and prototyping that it became a truly interdisciplinary project. The challenge lays within making the right links, here our partner Snøhetta and their specificities in architecture helped to build out the necessary network to explore possibilities for production, to link up and eventually upscale the prototypes with producers.

THE FUTURE:

The joint venture between Studio Plastique and Snøhatta resulted in a collection of tiles. We are teaming up with a producer that is able to implement the technology we developed during the WORTH project Common Sands 2.0. The aim is to produce and commercialise the tiles to a specialised public at first, allowing flexibility for on demand architectural projects.

THE MESSAGE:

As designers we hope to incite cross-disciplinary collaboration between experts of all fields. We believe this to be essential for Europe to be a strong, progressive and innovative territory.

 

PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

The vase

The vase

Lumimóza

Lumimóza

3D metal panels

3D metal panels

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

The Vegan Sheep

The Vegan Sheep

Loom-State

Loom-State

Common Sands 2.0

Common Sands 2.0

Maretech

Maretech

Minois

Minois

STEM a garment production brand

STEM a garment production brand

Storytelling Garment Project

Storytelling Garment Project

Mapu Preto

Mapu Preto

Minta

Minta

NO/thing

NO/thing

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

In the Circle

In the Circle

Clotho

Clotho

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

WeAr Design

WeAr Design

Freskos

Freskos

ALMA

ALMA

Bubble Façade

Bubble Façade

Crossing Parallels

Crossing Parallels

EnaOna

EnaOna

SEISMIC GARMENT

SEISMIC GARMENT

Rethinking the Bra

Rethinking the Bra

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Nova Underwear

Nova Underwear

BioChromatic

BioChromatic

Dimmenso

Dimmenso

Beaggie

Beaggie

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

H|H

H|H

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Edge Chair

Edge Chair

Marbled Salts

Marbled Salts

Moseanic

Moseanic

Kombucha TSUGI

Kombucha TSUGI

LiLO

LiLO

The Eastern Side of Riviera

The Eastern Side of Riviera

Future Wardrobe

Future Wardrobe

Ventri

Ventri

FreyZein

FreyZein

SILENCIO

SILENCIO

Re-Print Ceramics

Re-Print Ceramics

Vivid

Vivid

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

Burning For

Burning For

Circular workwear collection

Circular workwear collection

Recontile

Recontile

Fashion Colada

Fashion Colada

SCALA

SCALA

New Matters

New Matters

Not 2 Forget

Not 2 Forget

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Agogic – Be prepared for more

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

Mocha Split

Mocha Split

Reframd

Reframd

Zerobarracento

Zerobarracento

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

Wearable Play

Wearable Play

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Gelatex x NO/AN

Gelatex x NO/AN

Luxury Bag Collection

Luxury Bag Collection

Amalgama

Amalgama

TTorch

TTorch

From the ground

From the ground

Biolea

Biolea

Ultra

Ultra

Capsule coat project

Capsule coat project

Mayya x WORTH

Mayya x WORTH

The Space in Between

The Space in Between

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Fish_Fish

Fish_Fish

Common Sands

Common Sands

UCQC Inclusive

UCQC Inclusive

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Mowo

Mowo

i-Morfé

i-Morfé

Iguaneye

Iguaneye

Ruumy

Ruumy

Fugazi Fugazi

Fugazi Fugazi

Serisole

Serisole

Hi-LAMP

Hi-LAMP

Lucid

Lucid

Senss

Senss

Walkytalkies

Walkytalkies

Sole sustainability

Sole sustainability

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

Spell My Name

Spell My Name

The “Bib” chair

The “Bib” chair

Materia Bruta

Materia Bruta

Planned Space Pooling

Planned Space Pooling

3D knitwear on demand

3D knitwear on demand

Lit Lace Interface

Lit Lace Interface

iluTex

iluTex

Sukka 

Sukka 

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

Unmoist Raincoat

Unmoist Raincoat

IOT Jacket & Robot

IOT Jacket & Robot

Stars Collection

Stars Collection

Words that shimmer

Words that shimmer

Persona

Persona

PULSAR

PULSAR

Identity 560

Identity 560

Øjenfryd

Øjenfryd

The Ghost Bag

The Ghost Bag

Diluci bags

Diluci bags

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Oceanwear

Oceanwear

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

Curve

Curve

Multifunctional Textiles

Multifunctional Textiles

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

‘Parameter’ Table

‘Parameter’ Table

Occay

Occay

KICS

KICS

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

PreemieCme

PreemieCme

Circular Bags

Circular Bags

Clayer

Clayer

Lulu V2

Lulu V2

Fishskinlab

Fishskinlab

Dynaback

Dynaback

Esther Hates PVC

Esther Hates PVC

Gardin

Gardin

Foldable High Heels

Foldable High Heels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Edbora Collection

Edbora Collection

Smart Heated Vest

Smart Heated Vest

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Fragments Garments

Fragments Garments

Hollow: A Lie Story

Hollow: A Lie Story

FWN: Family Wear Nature

FWN: Family Wear Nature

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Spellbound

Spellbound

Wear Pure

Wear Pure

Connextyle

Connextyle

Unlimited in 1

Unlimited in 1

Paramatrix

Paramatrix

Feel More Knitwear

Feel More Knitwear

Skarabeos 2

Skarabeos 2

Twill

Twill

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair