Six Young Designers to Discover at Design Miami/
Black Gold “Bank” is, by common standards, a piggy bank, but more social commentary than simple money-saving apparatus. It was fashioned from asphalt, a by-product of the crude oil refinery process—the only oil to appear in solid form.
As a collection, “Black Gold”’s intent is to question its future value in time; a reflection of the consumerist society in which we live. In order to break open the bank, one must pour a secondary oil product over the piece, at which point the solid asphalt breaks down and returns to its original near-liquid state, leaving behind oil, stone, and the currency that was saved inside, or what remains of it. Limited edition of 10.
Image rights: Fran Parente
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Quintus Kropholler incorporates sociological questions about the value of materials in his designs. The “Black Gold” homeware collection (2014–15), which is made of glittering asphalt—a thick form of petroleum mixed with rock fragments—highlights durability as a counter to the contemporary phenomenon of built-in obsolescence. The artist mixes “recycled road” with other materials and casts it in steel molds to form various objects, including a concertina divider screen, pyramidal book stand, and hexagonal stool. These pieces may also take on different functions, however, as the user is invited to decide their purpose. The negative slits cut out of the collection’s rectangular bench recall Donald Judd’s minimalist sculptures and furniture.