London Design Festival 2014: London designers Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri have designed a range of furniture and tableware that looks like stone, but is in fact made from composite materials comprising recycled denim, cotton and paper (+ slideshow).
Matteo Fogale and Laetitia de Allegri's first collaboration resulted in the -ISH collection, which includes shelving, a bench, side tables, a wall-mounted mirror and a selection of tableware.
All the pieces are made from three materials: slate-ish, denimite and marblus.
More commonly used for kitchen counters and skate ramps, US-made slate-ish resembles stone, but is made by laminating recycled and reclaimed black paper, giving the material its dark colouring.
Denimite is made from post-consumer and post-industrial denim scrap, resulting in a cotton fibre bio-composite that is mouldable, lightweight and tough.
Meanwhile, marblus is made from scraps of white cotton and polyester from sheets, clothing, and other fabric products.
The combination of different fabrics gives the predominantly white material a blue-grey element resembling the veins in Carrara marble.
"Recycled materials often look like a 'secondary choice' and not premium enough," De Allegri told Dezeen. "We both love stone and the look of it but we find the weight and fragility a bit constraining for what you can do with it."
All three materials can be worked like wood, and so the designers were able to fabricate the entire collection in their own studio, working with marblus and denimite manufacturer Iris Industries to curve slabs of the materials for the first time.
"These materials look stunning and are easy to work with," said De Allegri. "We were able to realise pieces that are more accessible and not totally achievable in real stone. We also like the poetry of something beautiful that mimics a natural material and yet is created from post industrial scrap."
Ovals, circles and curves repeat throughout the collection. "The shapes come from the contrast between organic forms drawn by hand and controlled geometric lines, to emphasise the characteristics of the material being entirely man-made but mimicking nature," De Allegri said.
The collection is on show at the Herrick Gallery, 1 & 3 French Place, E1 6JB, throughout the London Design Festival, which continues until 21 September.