This is Copper is a minimalist collection designed by London-based studio Studio ThusThat. Copper is ubiquitous to our modern world, yet it is largely invisible. It is the oldest metal mined by humankind, with ancient uses dating back 8000 years. The metal was historically used for its malleability and antimicrobial properties (indeed, even against viruses ). Today, it is crucial for a renewable future: a wind turbine alone can contain up to five tonnes of copper, and ten tonnes of the metal are needed per kilometer of high-speed railway.
Slag is the leftover impurities of the smelting process. During the pyrometallurgical purification process, slag is extracted and poured out in molten form, cooling into a black glassy stone — like man-made lava. In this project, slag is used as a geopolymer. Geopolymerisation is a technology that uses common inorganic compounds to create high-performance alternatives to standard cement. Additionally, coarser forms of slag can be used as aggregate in the place of sand. The result is a very strong black concrete-like body made from slag, with about 77% lower CO2 footprint than standard cement. The project was realized in close collaboration with KU Leuven and Metallo Group, Belgium.