Valentina Lachner
Super Synthetic Stones

Super Synthetic Stones started with research about ocean plastics and plastic waste in general. After gaining an understanding of the situation and through a course in material experimentiation, the idea of mixing shredded plastic waste with cement to form a new kind of stone, a super synthetic stone was born.

Through hands-on experiments with the material and tests of different combinations and recipes, a working mixture was found, that could be applied for creating or crafting small decorative objects. At the same time, the idea of engineering the mixture to a point, where functional floor and wall tiles could be created became the future goal of the project. A lighter weight and higher insulation capacities are some of the characteristics, that come to concrete through adding plastics into the mixture, at the same time substituting sand and gravel, that would make up the majority of regular concrete.

Concrete is the second most used material on the planet and given it‘s ingredients it is also very harmful to the environment. Cement production causes enormous greenhouse gas emissions and sand and gravel are natural ressources threatening to run out in the near future. Plastic on the other hand is a great material, used completely wrong to create single-use items for consumer‘s convenience. These items have a very short lifetime in the hands of the user, but will in the end have a very long lifetime, once deposited in landfills or our oceans, threatening wildlife and nature.

By combining these two of the worst materials created by human beings, following the mathematical rule of negative times negative equals positive, there is a hope to find a benefitial combination, that will in the end have a positive impact on the environment. Using the recipe and the existing moulds for the material tests, i created small decorative objects, testing the combination for it‘s potential application and at the same time also testing the market for this new material and aesthetic through small design sales and stores.