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Product Design
Published: 5 Nov 2013

Fossil by Shahar Kagan


Reacting to the amount of paint wasted within industry, Tel Aviv-based designer Shahar Kagan has created a range of products made from paint that is ordinarily thrown away. 

Polyurethane paint – typically used by factories – cannot be reused the next day, as it is rendered virtually useless once mixed with its reactive components, meaning vast amounts are discarded on a daily basis. Kagan asked manufacturers to save the waste paint by pouring it into a mould. As it dries, the layers of paint become a solid chunk, featuring a strata-like pattern resembling those found in sedimentary rock. 

Surprisingly strong, the dried paint can be carved and sanded in a similar way to wood or stone. The designer uses the material to make objects such as bangles and door handles; the curved forms highlight the streaked organic patterns hidden within the layers.

Kagan also experimented with using the waste paint on flat surfaces by spraying it onto wooden boards. The different chemical compositions of the paint cause it to dry unevenly, creating marble-like patterns when sanded. Due to the slow drying times of these paints, the effect takes up to four months to achieve. The highly patterned surfaces are then used as panels in cabinets.

For more visual inspiration of layered colour effects, see Turn Up The Texture and the Surface Pattern report from our Design Direction Play Interiors S/S 15. Meanwhile, for other examples of time-consuming, process-driven design and innovative approaches to recycling, see our Industry Trend Design Democracy: Slow.