Basalt, the dark-colored, fine-grained, igneous rock that is formed from cooled lava, has long been used in the construction industry to create flooring coverings and veneers. However, more recently, we have seen designers finding new uses for the volcanic rock by using it to create inventive and contemporary furniture and lighting designs.
Inspired by traditional Mexican mortars, design collective Panorámica have designed a small stool using basalt as the seating element. As part of their Materiality collection, analysing materials in everyday life, the stool is constructed using four wooden legs held in an upturned dome of basalt.
Aptly named after Japan’s largest active volcano, Daniel Stoller’s Aso San pendant light is carved from a single block of basalt.
Structure For Use is the result of South Korean designer Jeonghwa Seo’s exploration into uncommon forms of seating. The aluminium and basalt range is made using sandpapered aluminium finished with a basalt top, available with or without seats and side tables.
Maffam Freeform have developed a unique yarn by stretching molten basalt, used to make structural lace patterns to form furniture. The collection comprises seating and tables for both indoor and outdoor use, due to the sturdy nature of the volcanic material.
Exploring the potential of lava as a design material, Formafantasma created a range of furniture and accessories using matter from an eruption at Mount Etna. De Natura Fossilium showcased the design duo’s innovative investigations into volcanic material, experimenting with lava in the production of glass and textiles. Their Pillar Tables are carved from basalt and combined with textile and brass components, creating brutalist forms in homage to iconic Italian designer Ettore Sottsass, a frequent visitor to the volcanic Aeolian Islands.