Dead Ground

Dead Ground

Highly polluting industries are often thought of as such due to the energy they need and their direct damage to the environment. One of the other largest polluting factors is how the byproducts that are produced are disposed of. Dead Ground is a project that investigates the waste material produced by Swedens most energy demanding industries. 

Elias Båth project Dead Ground (Död Mark) features artefacts with as much transparency as possible making the raw material visible. Each table is made out of pieces of slagg, the byproduct of industrial steel production, and is paired with steel, the desired end product. This balance between desire and waste tells a story while also showcasing the lifecycle of the material. 





For the project Båth followed material’s lifecycles from extraction to waste, taking him to rural parts of Sweden. While there he collected material and cultural knowledge by looking at a range of disciplines as part of a bigger system. Materials from the lithosphere were taken from the lime kilns of Smedjebacken, the steaming hot metal industries in Dalarna and the deep mines of Kirun. He looked at materials that shaped world wars, the environment, and geographical inequalities. While calling the attention to the importance of thinking twice before extracting something you can’t put back to its natural environment.

Dead Ground highlights several major questions: about the finiteness of natural resources, the depletion of the countryside, and about an age in which the design industry needs think more about its impact and create better solutions. It is estimated that humanity has used the same amount of metals as what remains in the Earth’s crust. This means that we need to be recycling what we have much more frequently as that is the beauty of many metals. 




Elias Båth

Adorno Design