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Atoms Studio Make Eco-Friendly Plant Pots From Compacted Clay

These designers are making home décor while being environmentally friendly, with eyes set to expand their technique into more areas of our interiors.

The more designers touch and feel materials they are working with the more they learn to trust and shape them to their will. Atoms Studio’s co-founders - Karim Raafat, Ossama Rashad and Mahmoud Salamouni - had this experience with clay. Using the Rammed Earth technique to compact clay and create sustainable walls and products that are friendly to the environment and the end user.

“We wanted to do something with earth, the material is available all around us,” Raafat tells SceneHome. Atoms was founded in 2020 and within six months they held their first workshop to demonstrate how Rammed Earth works.

The idea was sparked from their shared architectural background, with Rashad bringing his construction experience to the table having worked on environmental projects with the United Nations. “We thought if we can’t import then we can develop local materials with care to create designs that meet international standards.”

Atoms began experimenting with walls until they worked with Studio Figurati on creating a decorative gate on a rooftop made of clays sourced from different Egyptian governorates. For their approach to work in interiors, however, the sustainable studio needed to deliver it on a smaller, more digestible scale. Plant pots that get their aesthetic colour gradient from the natural hues of clay soils seemed like the right place to start.

Raafat and Rashad worked on turning the material into pots that look similar to pottery, except that instead of going through the process of burning the clay and consuming energy, they are made by compacting clay with sand, pebbles and a sprinkle of water. Hoping that they become gateways to larger applications.

“The idea is that gradually we would start applying Rammed Earth in walls and build entire homes,” he continues. “The material is important for everyone, it could be used to make great designs and that’s the impact we want to leave.”

Ultimately Raafat believes that they found their purpose in compacting clays as a sustainable alternative to common building materials - and besides that, a promise to create refreshing visuals for interior designs.