Sakeb is a design and research collective working on transforming industrial waste into new materials and objects. Their work focuses on waste produced by the Stone and Marble Industry in Palestine; which is a historical craft in the region and one of its most productive sectors; making it one of its extensive environmental pollutants. Most of the stone slurry waste is disposed of in agricultural land, open areas, and sewage networks. Calcium carbonate from stone slurry accumulates on the soil surface and in ditches; resulting in the formation of lime cemented hard pans that prevent infiltration of water and root penetration into the soil layer, leading to soil contamination and drainage problems.
After experimenting with leftover marble chunks from local marble suppliers to design the monolithic terrazzo pen that is light and easy to write with, Sakeb expanded their experimentation journey to include a wider range of composite materials made from industrial dust waste and natural binders. Limestone slurry, marble chunks, sawdust, and wood chips were developed to create malleable and lightweight materials. They observed how each one of them offers different characteristics and unique features when mixed, cast in moulds, and left to dry out in a process of dynamic and unpredictable deformations. This playful and spontaneous process played out by nature opened the way for endless possibilities and scenarios; as opposed to the monotony and predictability found in synthetic materials.
The design of Kabes Stool (Arabic for compaction) recognises the potential of these organic drying processes and embraces them with the forms it adopts. Starting with a simple geometry of four hollow cylindrical moulds created from two recycled 6- and 8-inch PVC pipes, the composite materials are cast sequentially and compacted to create the effect of rammed layers where each material blends in with the other, yet maintains its singularity. As the stool’s legs dry out, each one of them undergoes different shifts and folds, and they begin to lose their perfect cylindrical shape; allowing the material to express its own forms. After the stool legs are dry, the four hollow cylinders are joined together through a cast top, creating a monolithic and sturdy stool.
Text submitted by the maker
Sawdust, limestone slurry, marble dust, agar-agar, glycerin, water, indigo
Haifa Zalatimo, A M Qattan Foundation, Mohammad Sabla