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Brief Published: 3 Aug 2018

Experimental Furniture Collection Celebrates Beauty of Rust

Yuma Kano, Rust Harvest

While rust is often deemed problematic – causing costly structural damage to metal substrates and products – Japanese designer Yuma Kano has developed a process that elevates its status, using it as a decorative surface finish for his latest collection of experimental furniture.

The project, called Rust Harvest, involves cultivating rust on metal plates. These are subjected to sunlight and rain, submerged in salt water and buried in earth to create a mix of complex colours and natural textured patterns. Acrylic resin is then applied to the rusted surface. When peeled away, the rust transfers to the acrylic – capturing the pattern in a transparent panel.

Once the process is complete, the metal plates are reused to create another crop of rust for harvesting, making the production process similar to an agricultural cycle.

Kano combines the rust-resin panels with sheets of metal to create a varied and harmonious collection of tables, bookcases and stools. The metals chosen for the furniture reflect where the rust has come from (steel for red rust, copper for blue) and are left untreated so that they also change and corrode over time.

A number of designers and architects are embracing naturally occurring processes and materials that evolve over time in projects that celebrate raw beauty. See our A/W 19/20 Materials Direction Sacred Earth for inspiration, as well as Rust: Metal Composite Ceramics for another designer who works with oxidised metal.