microwave glass

Tiles made from microwaves

Waste-made tiles are always a delight, and these creations by Norwegian studio Snøhetta is no exception. These prototypes crafted in collaboration with Italian manufacturers Fornace Brioni and Belgian designers Studio Plastique have found a new potential home for materials rarey recycled.

Microwave and oven glass and glass from electronic goods are widely regarded as unrecycleable due to their varied compositions, treatments, and finishes. But rather than see this as a negative, the Common Sands project makes this into a strength.

Embracing the varied looks that this multitude of structures and compounds creates, the Forite tiles have a flecked and speckled terrazzo-esque appearance. Translucent bodies with freckles of black, green, and gold are the result – awesomely beautiful and miles away from their origin.

Three years of research from Studio Plastique uncovered the potential in this material forgotten by EU recycling regulations. Despite its seeming abundance, sand-mining and its use in the creation of “glass, microchips, solar cells, aerogel, insulation” carrys a weighty footprint with intensely “sophisticated technological production” and “carbon-heavy” mining techniques.

A deeply lacking infrastructure to recycle this generously applied material as well as outdated aesthetic values inspired Studio Plastique who later brought Snøhetta and Fornace Brioni into the fold to develop these unique, functional products.

Currently undergoing the standard certification process in Italy, the Forite tiles are not yet available in the open market, however Common Sands aspires to expand production into furniture and panels. So far the tiles are being produced in two sizes – 100 by 100mm and 400 by 400mm.

Studio Plastique
Fornace Brioni

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, May 2022.

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