The limescale project
There is a small city in Sicily that rises on a calcareous land. Clean, drinkable water flows from a mountain very rich in minerals, into the city’s hydraulic system. In the pipes, rocks magically grow like stalactites and stalagmites. The minerals particles diluted in water accumulate onto the pipes’ surface creating incredible structures. In Calatafimi everything happens slowly. The bread dough takes one day to rise, the olives for the new olive oil ripen in one year, to repair a puddle in the main street takes even more. Limescale crystals take years to grow in their rocky shapes, they generate unique water sculptures hidden underground in a maze of pipes. The limescale project addresses the issue of limescale accumulation and turns it from a problem to solve into a chance to take! It aims to shape a future where products would not be associated with mass production and industrialisation as we know it: fast and alienating. I developed a scenario in which pipe-moulds could be installed in the pipeline so to allow self-built structures to grow underground. In fact, given to the pipe a specific configuration the limescale acquires the tube’s shape. By embracing this natural phenomenon, products can be grown and harvested like crops with a specifically designed shape. The products that I present are visions and explorations for possible future designs totally cultivated in the hydraulic system. I extracted limescale sediments from the Sicilian pipes and celebrate this local naturally grown material and its aesthetics through a collection of products. This project is about new production methods, rethink industrialisation, shorten the distance between production process and final users. It’s a chance to reconnect with Nature, accept its timing, embrace its processes and interact with those by creating a synergetic and productive coexistence. Imagine if we could cultivate tables and chairs in the pipes and then extract them like diamonds?