Industrial waste


Made in

Biodegradable 222 Circular 206 Paint 18 Paper 24 Pigment 45 Recyclable 110 Algae 9 Ash 5 Brick 2 Nettle 3 Paper 12 Rock 2 Soil 7 Wood 6

Industrial waste

Photos: Lucie Ponard, Ronald Smits (one image, the one of the shelf with all the materials on it)

No traces left

Many landscapes are haunted by industrial histories that become part of geology, and that we recognise as ‘nature.’ This project studies the area of Zuiderstrand and Westduinpark, in Zuidholland. Slags, by-products of the industry, waste and debris of the war are silent ‘hybrids,’ that have become part of the landscape. By giving a voice to these rejected monsters, multiple stories intersect, about the history of the Netherlands, the construction of the park and the beach.
This visual exploration is a research about printing with waste materials found in the park. The pigments, the printing plates as well as the support (nettle paper) are extracted from that place. Because the print and the tools are biodegradable, they can all be returned to where they were harvested.
The designer created illustrations of this landscape, getting inspired by the materialities and colours of the soil.
She created ink based on the different waste materials of the park ( bricks, steel slags, soil). The printing plates she uses to print were first made out of wood. Then, she made her own printing plates from materials found in the park, using algae, that naturally binds to create a surface, dead pieces of wood, and rocks. Therefore, both the patterns and the colours are extracted from the park.
Finally, they worked on making paper with nettles (a weed) from the park. Some prints were exhibited in the park and the visitors could slowly watch them disintegrate with time, and return to earth.
It is a statement to choose a ‘poor’ material to design with. In this research, the designer reflects on the social values associated with matters. Rocks and stones have been purified and ranked by their preciosity - gems, precious stones - but in this research, the designer chooses to work with the rocks that are around them and that aren’t considered valuable.

Additional information

All of the materials are waste found in a park, that was mostly used to build the infrastructure such as the paths. They are first smashed in a very thin powder, that is then sieved. The designer used a 60 mesh sieve, which has a 250um size mesh. The pigments are mixed with linseed oil, as well as a bit of a drying agent. The paste is ground together with a glass muller on a glass or stone board.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.


Paper, nettle, linseed oil, brick, coal ash, soil, steel slag, algae, rock, wood