Atelier  NL - To See the World in a Grain of Sand, Thailand edition

In August, Atelier NL called upon the global community to send bottles of sand for their latest project ‘To See a World in a Grain of Sand’. With over 300 sand samples, the studio transformed their collection into a world glass map which was presented at the their design studio during Dutch Design Week 2017 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Apart from the raw sand samples, Atelier NL has showed arrays of colourful sand glass cups and simultaneously showed the stories of those who contributed sand, from the Netherlands to Australia and beyond.

For Bangkok Design Week 2018, Atelier NL is planning to call upon a Thai local and tourist community to send sand samples.  Atelier NL’s broader objective and passion is to heighten awareness about the value and potential of local sands as a natural resource with particular cultural and ecological significance. They strongly believe that the integration of local earth products into daily life is an important step toward a more ecologically mindful future. The more that the public understands the sources and stories behind the objects they use every day, the more likely they are to value them as the products of unique and irreplaceable natural resources. As people interact with the local glass samples, they begin to understand that sands from different places naturally produce different colours and textures - and that these qualities result from the unique circumstance created by thousands of years of the movement, erosion, and transformation. The production of objects made from local sands creates stronger ties between material products and living communities. It also encourages industry leaders to consider alternative applications for natural sands. Contemporary manufacturers exclusively use pure white sands, which are found only in a few quarries worldwide.

Through their work, Atelier NL aims to expand the understanding of how different sands can lend their qualities to innovations in design and technology, creating ecologically mindful solutions to upcoming problems.

‘To See a World in a Grain of Sand’ is a part of their ongoing ‘Zandglas’ project, which won the Dutch Design Award in the ‘Design Research’ category in October 2017.