Ignorance is Bliss ceramic tiles
Since the Industrial Revolution ignorance and negligence have generated overloaded landfills in our throw-away culture. Metals are crucial to our world, and, unfortunately, a non-renewable resource. ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ is an ongoing project about giving a new identity to metal waste by applying it as a pigment from industries such as drinking water supply and soil remediation into new valuable products and methods. As a result of broad-scale material research and prototyping, one outcome is interior/exterior ceramic tiles, which are colored using 100% industrial metal waste. In this project, surprisingly, the more contaminated the raw material, the more vibrant the designed objects are. Soil remediation company in Weert , The Netherlands, generates around 30200 tons of toxic metal waste per year. Drinking water supply company to provide water for one town generates around 10 tons of iron waste per month. The value of a currently ‘valueless’ and often toxic metal waste is recovered in a functional, process-efficient and scalable way. Waste is used instead of buying industrially produced pigments from the same metals. The waste source is reliable to ensure similar colors. Tiles can be produced in unlimited quantities and come in a variety of sizes and colors. The production factory is applying glazes by hands leading to subtle variations in shades. The products have a distinctive appearance, are safe, sustainability-focused and as research continues they gradually will evolve towards an even more environmentally friendly version. The aim of this project is to show that waste is not a limitation, but an opportunity and to challenge the current industrial color mass manufacture.