Discarded marble tiles form products
by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti

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40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Quadrondo clock

Italian designers Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti have created a collection of prototype products made from unwanted marble tiles.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti lamp
Ratti lamp

All seven items in Ulian and Ratti's 40 x 40 series are made from one or two Marmette slabs – marble wall and flooring tiles pre-cut into standard sizes, the most common of which is 40 by 40 centimetres.

Each slab was cut by water jet to create a number of pieces that could be assembled into 3D objects without producing any waste.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti lamp
Ratti lamp pieces

According to the designers, huge numbers of the marble tiles are discarded every year because the veins are considered too prominent, because the colour is not quite right or because of minimal damage to the edges.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Sfrid0 table
Sfrid0 table

"Companies who work with this type of tile accumulate boxes and boxes of abandoned tiles that probably will never be sold," Ratti told Dezeen. "We decided to give them a second chance and turn them into pieces of furniture with dignity."

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Sfrid0 table
Sfrid0 table pieces

The designers started to investigate how they could use the Bianco Carrara marble tiles, and came up with the idea of making products from just one tile by cutting the parts and creating a three-dimensional form.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti O-ring
O-ring bowl

"Managed in the right way, water-jet cutting allows us to obtain all the pieces necessary to obtain the object from a single tile," said the designers.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti O-ring
O-ring bowl pieces

The +O- Lamp comprises a two-dimensional lampshade form fixed into a perpendicular base in front of a light bulb and the hole it has been cut from.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Layer stool
Layer stool

The Gerla vase and fruit bowl and O-Ring fruit bowl are both made of concentric shapes that are stacked on top of each other and fixed using transparent glue.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Layer stool
Layer stool top

The Gerla vase also features a natural decorative pattern produced by the water-jet cutting.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Piet
Piet fruit bowl

The Piet fruit bowl is formed by dividing the tile into four pieces and joining them at right angles to create a three-dimensional form.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Piet
Piet fruit bowl pieces

Retaining the shape of the original tile, the Quadrondo clock has pre-scored corners that can be broken off by hand to change its shape from square to circular.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Gerla vase
Gerla vase

The SfridO coffee table and Layer stool are each made from two tiles. For the table, one tile is cut into two parts intersecting at right angles to form the base and the second tile forms the tabletop. The stool is stacked from rings and topped with another tile.

40x40 collection by Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti Gerla vase
Gerla vase pieces

The collection is being displayed in Carrara until 3 August as part of Marble Weeks 2014.

Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti previously collaborated on a vase that is shaped by smashing off its edges with a hammer and pieces for a marble exhibition during Milan design week earlier this year.