a light object,
made out of recovered marble.
Tocco is a light object made out of upcycled marble pieces.
The aim of the project is to give back life to the material, exposing the qualities still present in the marble thanks to a new interaction between the product and the user.
The product is created using post-industrial materials which are long and thin marbles strips difficult to be reused because of its fragility. After being recovered cut and polished, the marbles are set to create a composition of new forms and colors, assembled into a metal frame that creates a "painting" that can be hung on the wall. Tocco works as a light-object that is switched on/off by a touch interaction. A special sensor allows the user to activate and regulate the light just by softly touching the marble surface.
Experiments and discovery
The design of the product was a result of a careful analysis of the material.
It was all focused on the qualities and the limits still inherent in the recovered material like color, shape, fragility, tactility and transparency.
I started creating a concept map writing down actions that comes to my mind thinking about the material's qualities.
Afterwards, I've developed a new map, where I related those words to their synonyms and antonyms, trying to open up the meanings related to those words.
After analyzing the concept, I started testing the material with different experiments.
My attention stopped on how to show up in the most natural way all the qualities I highlighted as iconic.
The light looked to me as the most obvious way to do that, as it displays almost all the features at the same time. It lights up the colors, shows up the transparency while empathizing the low thickness of the material.
However, I was still missing an interaction that could link the tactile quality of the material with the user.
I decide to experiment some of the electronic sensors I was using for other purposes, and I end up to discover by accident that one of those was the perfect fit for what I was looking for. This sensor, thanks to the low thickness of the material, works like a proximity sensor and a dimmer, allowing to switch on/off and regulate a light just softly touching the marble surface.
The only thing missing was how to unify all of this in one product.
I decided to go back to the concept map to understand that.
I extracted from the first map all the words that I thought related better to the product idea I've obtained from the testings and experiments, afterward, I linked together the ones I felt had similar meanings.
After analyzing the new map, I unified the groups of two words in a new one that was related.
The concepts suggested by those words, spoken about something expressive, visible but at the same time not static and inactive.
The result brought me to understand that I needed to create a "dynamic" product where all the features were visible, a product that was an active display of the qualities inherent in the wasted marbles, an interactive three-dimensional painting.