Norwegian studio Snøhetta has worked with Belgian designers Studio Plastique and Italian manufacturer Fornace Brioni to produce tiles made of glass from discarded ovens and microwaves.
Currently in the prototype stage, the Common Sands project suggests a new possible use for glass from used electronic goods, a waste material that the project team says is currently almost never recycled.
The Common Sands Forite tiles feature an almost terrazzo-like melange of glass pieces, with colours including green, gold and black mottling the translucent slabs. Each tile is unique because of the variance and complexity of the glass pieces. The glass carries the residue of its previous finishes and treatments, which affect its colour, composition and structure.
While this makes the glass “unrecycleable” by the waste industry, which aims for transparency and consistency, Snøhetta and its collaborators wanted to create a product that turned the glass’s so-called defects into a strength.
The architecture practice said that e-waste glass was an untapped resource that should be recycled – both because it uses less energy than producing new glass and because sand scarcity is an emerging global issue.
Snøhetta – Common Sands Tiles