How creative can you get with waste materials that most people just throw away without a second thought?
Any type of manufacturing results in waste – sometimes shocking amounts of it. When designers Paolo Ulian and Moreno Ratti decided to see what they could make from “waste” marble tiles, they came up with some exceptional objects that might inspire you to see waste in a whole new way.

The 40cm X 40cm square tiles of Carrara marble the designers salvaged were discarded, but still usable. Using a water jet cutter, the design duo cut the squares into shapes that fit together easily to form elegant objects. Though the only modifications they’ve made to the tiles are these cuts, their ingenuity allowed them to produce all sorts of 3D home goods.

The objects include a small LED lamp, two fruit bowls, a clock, and a stool made of stacked marble slices. The designers also produced a vase made from stacked ovals that leaves behind a void in the marble tile which becomes a sort of fruit bowl. So not only is “40×40” a great example of creative “upcycling,” transforming discarded materials assumed to have no value into desirable objects, but also of producing 3D objects from flat materials in unexpected ways.
The project is known as 40 X 40, a reference to the size of the marble tiles used. The designers endeavored to create no waste as they used up these “waste” tiles in their artistic creations.
What you can get from one marble tile 40×40? From the marble tiles found in dusty warehouses of our craft companies? What things can be made by cutting with water jet machine, assembling simply the pieces without creating waste material?”
Moreno Ratti was born in Carrara in 1982. After the Study of Architecture. From 2013 he devoted himself to design, specializing in the context of the marble.