Date 01/2013 Type ECAL semester project Professor Jörg Boner Materials mud, jute
In Switzerland the soil contains a very high quality loam, therefore I decided to work with this very versatile and fascinating material. My aim was to keep the material very ecological and recyclable, so I decided to mix it only with biodegradable materials and not to fire it.
In order to find out which mixture would be the most resistant, I tried out 55 different combinations with 24 different ingredients. They were all pressed into the same mold and then air-dried. Later, I measured their resistance by putting increasing weight on them and measuring when they would break.
I was surprised at the strength of the the final material. The thickness of the stool plate on the picture only measures 2 cm, and yet a person can sit on it. The table is very resistant as well. The jute fabric has various functions: It feels nice to the touch and it keeps your hands clean. It also reinforces the material so that when a part breaks, the jute fabric holds it together, so it can still be used.
I discovered a new and fascinating material. It is very cheap, easy to make, accessible to everyone, ecological and very resilient.
This project has been selected for Design Parade 8 at Villa Noailles in Hyères, France.
The Sustainable Design Book, Rebecca Proctor, Laurence King Publishers, 2015, ISBN 9781780674735