Designer Transforms London Underground Waste into Art Nouveau-Styled Tiles | From the Underground

Designer Jeffrey Miller recently unveiled his innovative creation, From the Underground tiles, specifically crafted for the London Underground using waste materials generated during construction and operation. The tiles are ingeniously made from two key waste components: London clay, excavated during tunnel boring, and iron oxide-rich dust produced by train wheels grinding against steel tracks daily. Know more about it on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).


The tiles are ingeniously made from two key waste components: London clay, excavated during tunnel boring, and iron oxide-rich dust produced by train wheels grinding against steel tracks daily.

Drawing inspiration from Leslie Green’s iconic art nouveau design found in older tube stations, Miller cast the clay tiles using loaned moulds from manufacturer H&E Smith. The project’s inception occurred while Miller was on the Central Line, pondering the loud screeching caused by the train’s movement on the railway’s oldest section. His curiosity about the resulting friction byproduct led him to identify iron oxide as the main component, a pigmentable material for glaze, which he, being a skilled ceramicist, saw as an artistic opportunity.

Gathering the iron oxide dust, however, presented a challenge. Without a collaborator from Transport for London, the organization running the tube network, Miller personally collected the dust from different stations using a vacuum cleaner. Despite the dust’s mixture with dirt and human hair, Miller embraced these minor imperfections, adding character to the glaze.


Drawing inspiration from Leslie Green’s iconic art nouveau design found in older tube stations, Miller cast the clay tiles using loaned moulds from manufacturer H&E Smith.

The concept of incorporating London clay came to Miller through discussions with a geologist, who connected him with a contact involved in tunneling projects, providing waste-borehole samples abundant in clay. However, using the clay required extensive processing and testing to make it suitable for object creation. The arduous process involved drying, crushing, reconstituting with water, filtering non-clay particles and meticulous kiln firing tests.

Image credit: Sarel Jansen

×
×

Post Your Comment


"Content that powers your Business. News that keeps you informed."

Surfaces Reporter is one of India's leading media in Print & Digital Telecast for News on Interiors & Architecture Projects, Products, Building Materials, and the Business of Design! Since 2011, it serves as a referral for designers & architects to know about inspiring projects and source new products. If you have a Product or Project worth publishing in Surfaces Reporter, please email us hello@surfacesreporter.com or you can also submit your project online.

Like Surfaces Reporter on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram | Subscribe to our magazine | Sign Up for the FREE Surfaces Reporter Magazine Newsletter

Elegant Lakeside Home in Maharashtra Showcasing Vibrant Design, a 65 ft Pool, and Natural Materials | Design HEX

At the heart of the residence is a stunning 65 ft pool, flanked by shallow steps and illuminated by custom chandeliers and natural light from skylight cutouts.

Read more

Red Staircase Sets the Tone in Diesels Industrial-Style Miami Design District Store

Fashion brand Diesel recently unveiled a new store design in the Miami Design District. It has rough metal surfaces and a bold red lacquered spiral staircase.

Read more

Snøhetta Unveils Stunning Angled High-Rises with Steel Balconies in Oslo

Snøhetta introduces its latest project: the Vertikal Nydalen office and apartment building in Oslo.

Read more

Earthy Materials, Vernacular Elements, and Minimalist Aesthetic in Pune Home | Silhouette Architects & Designers | Viraam

Embracing earthy tones and vernacular elements, it adopts a minimalist approach. Indoors, subtle textures in grey and white enhance rich brick and teak hues, accented by cane and vintage pieces.

Read more


This is alt