rashmi bidasaria has introduced ‘dross’, a research project investigating the recovery of waste materials that are produced during steel manufacture. the indian designer has used the metallurgical byproducts to create an innovative furniture forms which showcase a rough, brutalist and simplistic aesthetic.
slag and quartz powder – waste byproducts
all images courtesy of rashmi bidasaria
rashmi bidasaria has focused on the recovery of steel slag, ramming mass and residual heat, which form a large percentage of the waste materials of the molten iron processing industry. more than 400 million tonnes of slag from the iron and steel industry is produced worldwide each year. meanwhile, more than 12 million tonnes of slag from the iron and steel industry is produced in india each year. only 30% of this slag is utilised by other industries such as cement manufacturing, with the rest going to landfill or piling up as overground waste on dumping sites.
‘the accumulation of metallurgical slag affects the environment and is a burden to metallurgical enterprises as well’ bidasaria shares. ‘therefore, other methods for utilizing slag and other solid wastes from steel industries should be investigated’. the dross project uses the materials and residual energy found on the geographical site in context, by focusing on creating innovative furniture forms. the designer has collaborated with factory workers, using industrial methods and manufacturing techniques which are common and known to them.
the techniques and the aesthetics that have been applied, are an immediate result of scrap objects found in the factory’s waste pile. these pieces are welded together to create new forms and edge details, completely allowing the process of discovery to influence the final outcome. the rough, simple look that dross adopts is a reflection of the modern sections of india’s cities which are all about raw tactility and puristic shapes.
the project is key to the factory workers and their working & living communities, proposing a new way to ensure income and comfort. while being a direct means of income for the factory workers, the artifacts created through this process are also meant to start a dialogue about the consumption of materials and manufacturing processes by allowing room for thought to develop a more responsible sense towards use of resources.
monolith low table
moulding process – console
moulding process – table
rest away bench
rest away bench & bench collection
edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom