‘rust harvest’ is an experimental materials project focused on rust and developed by japanese studio yumakano. the designers expose metal plates to light, rain, earth, and seawater to create rust, collect it, and then apply the colorful patterns to acrylic resin. the plates then are subject to more weathering, which creates another crop to harvest in a process similar to an agricultural cycle.
all images © yusuke tatsumi
‘the prevention of rust is an age-old problem in manufacturing,’ comments yuma kano, the founder of the studio. ‘rust has brought down planes, slowed ships, disabled engines, ruined bridges, spread through reinforced concrete, jammed guns, broken washing machines, and reduced unnumbered bicycles to useless scrap. while constantly cast as a devil, a closer look at rust reveals a variety of startlingly beautiful patterns and complex mixtures of color. with this in mind, we believed that the attractive expressions of rust could be produced in quantity and used in new textures and products. through trial and error, we were able to develop a technique that allowed us to transfer only the rust from metal plates using acrylic resin.’
the designers have taken into account manufacturing, distribution, and costs to create a complete system of production that has moved beyond the scope of design alone. unlike with metal, the light penetrates rust trapped inside the acrylic resin, which creates a frozen moment from a process that has taken years. because the resulting material can be used like ordinary acrylic resin, it holds limitless possibilities for various products, interior design, and construction.
the way light refracts through the thickness of the resin in kano’s furniture collection provides the rust a mysterious appearance, as if you are looking at the soil of a distant planet. adding parts of the metals the rust came from (iron for red, copper for blue), lets the user compare it to its original form. the sheets of metal are left untreated, giving it a raw look, and after years have passed, they should look like the material in the acrylic. the contrasting combination of natural and manmade materials produces a fascinating sculptural quality in these pieces of furniture.
edited by: maria erman | designboom
milan design week 2018 (143 articles)
studio yumakano (5 articles)
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