Thursday Salute to Originals: Salty Panels

Salt! Sprinkle it on your corncob, put a dash in your pasta water, use it to make homemade cleaning agents or even mouthwash. Believe it or not, a minimal 6% of all salt manufactured goes into food. So where does the other 94% go?

Besides being a basic commodity for making food delicious, it is believed that there are more than 14,000 uses for salt. One of those uses, perhaps most interesting to those geometrically inclined, is three dimensional printing. Recently, an American studio, known as Emerging Objects, printed a 3D pavilion in using salt harvested from the San Francisco Bay.

Salt Structure Translucent Material

The images here speak for themselves. Similar to the materials used here at GPI Design, building with translucent materials such as salt allows light to permeate the space, highlighting the assembly and structure, and reveal the unique qualities of one of humankind’s most essential minerals. Each panel recalls the crystalline form of salt and is randomly rotated and aggregated to create a larger structure consisting of unique individual tiles. We can certainly relate, though our materials can’t be boiled back down and used to flavor our dinnertime corn.

Let’s adopt a schoolmasterly tone at this point and discuss the roots of this ionic compound. Salt is a natural mineral made up of white cube-shaped crystals composed of two elements, sodium and chlorine. It is translucent, colorless and odorless. It is also a renewable resource, is inexpensive compared to commercially available printing materials and creates strong lightweight components. While these qualities sound bland (no flavor pun intended), the designers at Emerging Studio were able to capitalize on their inner scientists and transform the compound into pure sculpture.

Image credits: Dezeen