Lavastone, glass
material experiment

Lava and...


2020 Design research in KABK


Nothing gets lost, everything transforms.

This project works with Lucie Ponard. We tried to materialize an emotion named "mono no aware" (物哀). It is a Japanese expression of the ephemeral nature of beauty – the quietly elated, bittersweet feeling of having been witness to the dazzling circus of life – knowing that none of it can last. We decided to use lava stone as the main material and start to experiment, trying to create gradient texture from one state to another.



They collected various materials, ranging from tin, glass, slag and lavastone, and attempted to combine them by partly melting them down. To accomplish this, they experimented with a variety of methods, from using a kiln to using a torch. As they did so, they sought to create a new shape or connection through the reheating process. As they tested and tried different techniques, they hoped to eventually find a successful combination of materials that would yield the desired result.


Faking Nature

It reminds Erco Lai of Taoism and it is saying a similar concept.
In this ancient eastern philosophy, Taoism can be considered a lifestyle looking for harmony with the universal pattern. Also, it emphasizes Wu Wei (無為), which means action without intention, and naturalness. During that time and based on the theory, Toaists considered our human body as a garden with changing seasons in a balance. What if, we can imagine our manufacturing unit as a garden with a flowing system. He is not proposing that we go back to the Stone Age but futuristic cavemen with well-made stone tools and objects, following the natural rhythm, acquiring only the resource we need. By this means, this idea can provide a speculation for modern society.

Further reading

Biorock - design research of mineral formation
Neo Stone Age - design research of geopolymerization