Honey-coloured tiles constructed from volcanic ash

Design studios Dzek and Formafantasma have fabricated a collection of volcanic-ash-glazed tiles for a range of architectural surfaces. The project called ‘ExCinere' is a range of earth-coloured tiles and is a sustainable means to use volcanic ash — an abundant  waste material — and showcase its use in the built environment.

After graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2009, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin established Formafantasma. The studio’s work is characterised by material investigations that explore the relationship between local culture and tradition; the duo’s holistic approach to materials respects the achievements of the past whilst exploring new possibilities. 

Founded by Brent Dzekciorius in 2013, Dzek’s work combines a craft sensibility with optimism about the future potential of industrial manufacturing. Similarly to Formafantasma, Dzek constructs original architectural materials and products in collaboration with designers.

The use of volcanic matter in the construction industry is not a new one; the Romans built concrete from lava rock, and today, companies such as Rockwool create sustainable insulation from it. Since 2010, Formafantasma have been researching the potential use of volcanic lava in their designs. Volcanic ash and basalt salt have a high metal oxide content which makes them unpredictable to work with, and an exact amount of porcelain, ash glaze and firing temperature is needed in ExCinere’s production. 

The collection is made up of tiles which are suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces such as architectural cladding, kitchen counters and flooring. The tiles are available in two sizes and four differently coloured volcanic glazes. The various surfaces and colours are created by mixing different quantities, particle sizes and densities of volcanic matter resulting in surfaces which are reminiscent of the dynamic landscape from which the material came from. The use of ExCinere in the built environment creates a new relationship between occupants and the environment, whilst using an abundant natural waste material. 

To learn more about the material, click here

Image credits: Dzek Formafantasma 

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