Ceramics Made - Material regeneration will be the most profound humanistic care in the future/ 2016.04.04 



Bentu’s latest terrazzo project Ceramics Made were released at Salone Satellite 2017. It’s not only an experiment of recycling ceramics waste, but also an available, sustainable furniture industry chain.



China, the home to ceramics, came through its five thousand years of splendid history without once absence of ceramics. In the past hundreds of years, ceramics reached  out to the world through the Silk Road as artwork, commodity even cultural symbol. However, to most of us, ceramics has already become a carrier of national belonging  and national pride. However, people’s love for ceramics is especially partial, in other words, it is limited to the traditional form of ceramics within books and museums.  Apart from this, people are now turning a blind eye to the ceramics in daily life.


Looking for the origin of ceramics —— the kaoline mine, so we made a field trip to Shange, Maoming, China, a small town in a remote city.


Search coordinate 21°43'58.7"N 110°56'14.0"E on Google Earth, you may discover that Shange appears to be a huge scar on earth. Once you set foot on this mining area,  it strucks you with the perceived inability and heaviness of exhausted resources and barren lands.


 

40 meters deep down the ground, there is a huge mine hollowed out by mankind. The pit is overwhelmed by suspiciously green waste water. On the surrounding wasteland, a few clump of grass still hang in there. Villagers doggedly stays around even the village has been half appropriated by the mining area. We entered the village, following by a bunch of leftover women and children far behind, had no clue what they were vigilant to. We walked along the road, out of the mining area, discarded waste soil were piled up like mountain ranges, surprisingly spectacular and stunning against the natural background of water and sunlight. 



This is neither a begining, nor an ending. Which will be the next place share the fate of Jindezhen, the former "Porcelain Capital" in high repute, running up the clay resources? From classic collection to household ceramics, and then industrial ceramics, human’s demand for ceramics is excessively increasing, but any ideas to heal the  damage to earth came along? From resource to process, following the industrial chain, we keep exploring.


Foshan, China, with its world's largest and most mature ceramic industry chain and clusters of construction ceramics factories, is home to 1/8 of the global annual construction ceramics output and food and represents the subsistence of 10 million Chinese. At the same time, it has to bear the environmental pollution brought about by  4 million tons of ceramic waste per year.


All ceramic waste will eventually be transferred to remote villages, where it is used to fill ponds or dumped illegally; not only the cost of disposal is high, but the non-degradable materials can also not be digested by nature, hence occupy the land, affect the growth of vegetation, and even pollute the water on which our survival is relied.



Ceramic-made - a material regeneration experiment using wasted tiles to make terrazzo, so that the waste materials could be put back into use on general public  level in the form of derivative industries, and become everyday furniture that can be produced in a large scale.



Human beings need to consume and produce in order to survive. We are not really able to alter this industry fundamentally, but ought we simply ignore it?


Setting out on the 4 million tons of tiles and blending the materials regeneration into day-to-day lives, it is not only a bold attempt to stimulate the commercial value and a  practice of merging the idea of environmental protection into our daily lives, but also the basic adherence to and pursuit of one’s dignity.


 Collecting the wasted ceramics tiles in Foshan, China.


 Smashing


The change of the way of placing porcelain aggregate improves the utilization of porcelain wastes and production speed; the grid structure on the bottom intensifies the  details and reduces the overall weight, while the addition of high-performance concrete ensures that the panel is still tough even when it’s as thin as 5mm.


 Aggregate


 Polishing


Pay close attention to the most substantial things that make up the world - the materials, and all the resulting measurement and care of the reality.

-- Created locally, material regeneration