studio peipei | benedict peiroten

14-22 May 2022

on may 14th spazioarte presents a series of glass objects by studio peipei (benedikt peirotén).

his project 'from the ashes' is a glass based on ashes from wood-fired pizzerias, clam shells from seafood restaurants and sand.

glass is a sensitive structure that reacts to every ingredient, no matter how small. the recycled ingredients determine the appearance. impurities and irregularities are welcome.

studio peipei avoids linear production methods that extract material from earth and leave waste behind. nature does not produce waste, even by-products and leftovers have value. we can learn from this by taking care of existing waste and designing natural and recyclable products for the long term. studio peipei takes responsibility by embracing the joy of sustainability.

glass is often seen as sustainable, because it can be recycled endlessly and it is one of the few materials where it works almost worldwide. but if you look closer, it's not that easy. in addition to a high level of hidden energy, various ingredients are required that are mostly problematic. this glass is a first step towards improvement.

in addition to high-quality sand from Germany, this glass consists only of waste. the ashes are obtained from various wood-fired pizzerias in munich and the clam shells come from a seafood restaurant in barcelona.

after weeks of collecting and preparing the ingredients by hand, the mixture is melted and processed together with the glassblower theglassapprentice . the recipe has been optimized and the amount of waste increased to 40%. in order to lower the melting point even further, 20% sorted out broken glass is added which is normally no longer used.

the results are always visually unpredictable. each of these glasses is completely different despite being made from the same ingredients and made on the same day. glass is a sensitive structure that reacts to every ingredient, no matter how small. the recycled ingredients determine the appearance. impurities and irregularities are welcome.

‍from the ashes is a 100% natural glass , free of toxic or limited additives and made for next generations.

the brown version consists of the pure recipe described. in the green variant, different proportions of glass were recycled that the glassblowers can no longer use: colored and contaminated shards. this lowers the melting point one more time and saves further energy.

manifest . " we are born into a world built on consumption and waste. we do not accept that every action leaves a trace and that this has consequences for the entire world. we still ignore the fact that personal well-being can no longer be separated from global well-being. climate change will force us to further develop our traditions and greenwashing won't help.

–> this is not a finger pointing, this is a handshake. "

exhibited objects

in addition to sand, glass usually requires two other main components: sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate. as with most industrial processes, the availability of these ingredients is changing dramatically due to climate change and human production methods.

sodium carbonate as a flux lowers the melting point by about 250° c. after extraction in salt lakes, it is manufactured using the solvay process, which requires a high level of water and energy as well as quicklime: rare limestone heated to 1000° c.

on top of that, many natural salt lakes are shrinking rapidly due to global warming. “Since 1847, the volume of water level has dropped nearly 50 percent. more recently, the change has been so dramatic, you can see it from space.”

limestone is removed in large mines to get calcium carbonate. the material is used in all possible areas of our everyday life, but it is limited. limestone was formed over hundreds of millions of years and there is an annual usage of 5000 million tons of limestone.

Potassium carbonate can be extracted from wood ash. a forgotten flux that was used in previous years. seashells consist largely of calcium carbonate and once formed some of the limestones. finely ground they give glass the well-known durability.

the increasingly scarce material quartz sand has not yet been replaced. in contrast to concrete and other high consumers, glass can be recycled endlessly. it can even be ground to sand again, which means that the material is in a closed cycle if the additives are harmless. Unfortunately, many glasses are not.


benedikt peirotén, born in 1990, is a designer based in munich and barcelona.

he started his education with an apprenticeship as a precision mechanic in cnc milling and graduated from high school afterwards to study industrial design in munich (germany) and basel (switzerland), expanded with internships at smal. and studio steffen kehrle. working as an industrial designer at n+p made him realize that this is not enough. a master in design through new materials at elisava in barcelona [spain] filled last gaps in knowledge and opened up an infinite number of questions at the same time. studio peipei was founded in october 2021.