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United Matters
Seonmin Kang

Contemporary Seashell Tadelakt

3D viewing room
Seonmin Kang
This project is part of United Matters

An exploration as to how waste oyster shells can be processed into contemporary furniture designs that can neutralise and regenerate acidic soils at their end of life by applying traditional Moroccan technique called 'Tadelakt'.

Statistical data shows that mollusk shells contribute more than 7 million tons of ‘nuisance waste’ discarded every year, most of which is dumped in landfills or the ocean. For instance, in the UK, landfill disposal costs up to £100 per ton, but this is an unavoidable way to deal with bulky waste. The rock-state shell waste does not corrode, and over time, during microbial decomposition, this waste develops very toxic gases, such as NH3 and H2S

In this project, waste oyster shells are donated through a collaboration with Wright Brothers Ltd., a London seafood restaurant, and used water as an adhesive to demonstrate how discarded oyster shells can create new contemporary furniture designs.

If this furniture is ever discarded, it will need to be broken so the inner unpolished surface is exposed to moisture so it can degrade. This process will replenish and nurture our soils, particularly neutralising acidic soils.