Dezeen Magazine

CArrelé wall tiles are made from discarded eggshells

Textile designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng has created a collection of speckled wall tiles made from shells of eggs discarded by bakeries.

Called CArrelé, the collection's name is a fusion of "carreler," which means "to tile" or "to pave" in French, and CA – the chemical symbol for calcium in reference to the calcium carbonate that makes up an eggshell.

Decaying eggshells produce odours, attract flies and contribute to methane emissions, which are reduced if the waste is reused before it rots.

CArrelé tiles in pink
Stools covered in the eggshell tiles

Elaine Yan Ling Ng became interested in the opportunities of eggshells as a material after finding out about experiments in using them for capping teeth and healing bones.

"I was inspired when I learned of the use of chicken eggshell agricultural waste in medical and dental therapies."

"If solid bio-waste is good enough for the medical industry, that's proof that it has great strength and stability and, with a change of formula, these properties may potentially be used in other industries such as architecture," she said.

Speckled fragments of eggshell form the CArrelé tiles
Using eggshell is a sustainable resource

While CArrelé tiles are currently only wall tiles, Elaine Yan Ling Ng revealed that Nature Squared plans to extend the collection to include flooring.

With its ability to be moulded into various shapes and sizes, the eggshell formula also has potential for interior moulding or strips of wood.

CArrelé is a collection by Nature Squared
Pink and green tiles line a shower wall

In addition to the tiles, Elaine Yan Ling Ng has also produced a series of minimalist stools and accessories such as tealight holders and trays formed from eggshells.

"Calcium carbonate is one of the most common resources nature provides, and makes up five per cent of Planet Earth," the designer concluded.

"If we can turn this into a useful resource, it will be a very important reserve."

CArrelé tiles in green
Elaine Yan Ling Ng headed the project

Elaine Yan Ling Ng is a British-Chinese textile designer who runs her own studio, The Fabrick Lab. Previously, she created an installation for the Design Miami/Basel fair which coils in response to movement.

Nature Squared was founded in 2000 by Paul Hoeve and Lay Koon Tan. The brand specialises in creating custom surfaces using natural waste and has two factories in Cebu, the Philippines.

Other egg-based design includes tableware objects made from out-of-date eggs, and unusually shaped and playful vegan edible alternatives to chicken eggs.

Photography is by Tracy Wong.

Video is by Carmen Del Prado.