Sustainable architecture made out of locally harvested minerals from the San Francisco Bay

Design agency Emerging Objects of Oakland aims to bring good ideas to life through 3D printing — which is exactly how they printed the world's first Igloo of salt.

The company, founded by Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello, uses additive manufacturing techniques and local materials to produce smarter and withstanding architecture. The Saltygloo, a luminous pavillion of sea salt, is one of their experiments with innovation at the crux.

To build the free standing structure, salt is locally harvested from 109-year-old salt cystallisation ponds in Redwood City which is said to produce 500,000 tons of sea salt each year. A powder-based 3D printer allows for the unique production: layers of salt bond with a salt and glue substance (“salty glue”) that is waterproof, sturdy, and transparent. In combination, the printed materials produce individual and lightweight panels.

EXCLUSIVE MEMBER CONTENT
PSFK provides access to this article and every report, case-study, interview, and analysis that we publish for our members. PSFK Professional Membership also unlocks accessto unlimited customized research assistance and our database of over 100,000 insights on innovation trendspanning across eight industry sectors—from culture and brand to retail and customer experience.
Already a members? Log in