Dezeen Magazine

Matilda Beckman makes furniture out of "really gross" dust

Stockholm 2015: Beckman's College of Design student Matilda Beckman has used dust from the floors of vintage clothes shops to form a collection of furniture.

The table and chair in the How Dust This Feel? collection are made in specially designed moulds from a composite of the dust in vacuum cleaner bags from second-hand clothing stores, wood glue and water, mixed by hand.

High-gloss varnish is then applied to the top surfaces to create a finish that the designer likens to black marble.

How Dust This Feel by Matilda Beckman

"I wanted to question the hierarchy of materials," Matilda Beckman told Dezeen. "Dust is a waste product without value. It's really gross; it contains human skin cells and other waste products from our environment."

"I have put it into a new context to give it a higher value, so it will be seen from a new perspective," she added.

Beckman experimented with many binding agents before creating a material compact and strong enough to withstand being sawed and drilled into.

"It was a long process where I had to do a lot of tests before I got the right evenness to go beyond recognition of dust," she said.

How Dust This Feel by Matilda Beckman
Photo by Alf Arén

The dust-based material is used to create the horizontal elements of the furniture, including the chair's seat and the table top.

Fibres and hairs poke out from the unvarnished sides of the surfaces, which are held up by vertical supports made from Valchromat – an engineered coloured wood.

"Since dust is something we usually have in the corners I wanted to display and refine it and gave it a monumental look that dares to be seen," said Beckman. "My goal is to get people to understand that we can't leave traces after us as we do today. I hope that people will consider taking time to reflect on what they leave behind."

Beckman presented the collection in the Greenhouse area for young and emerging designers at Stockholm Furniture Fair this week, where MSDS Studio also showed a range of simple wooden furniture and metal lighting.

Photography by Martin Skoog unless specified otherwise.