A Plinth Made From Barley Waste for Heineken

Commissioned by Heineken, Spanish architect and designer Omayra Maymó designed Malta I, a four-tiered plinth made with leftover barley waste that no longer has a purpose in the brewing process after it provides flavor.

To create the brick-like forms used to hold the bronze glass tiers in place, Maymó mixed the barley waste with cement.

This technique creates a lighter version of regular cement that, especially if it were to be used on a larger scale, helps reduce the carbon emission produced by traditional cement manufacturing.

The outcome of the three-month research process is a set of blocks that can be used to create multiple different configurations. For this project in particular, Maymó layered the blocks with bronzed glass to create a stacked pedestal. The arrangement forms a contrast between the visual heaviness of the blocks and the optical lightness of the glass sheets.

In addition to Malta I, Maymó also recently completed the Pleat Pitcher, which also challenges traditional manufacturing techniques. Born as part of a speculative project that investigated how to create individuality through serial production methods, the metal pitcher is informed by a simple pull of the cylinder that creates a dripless spout.

Unlike many industrial production techniques, this folding process requires careful material manipulation. It actually strengthens the structure, which also allows the thickness of the metal to be reduced to the minimum amount.

Photos by Alberto Santomé.

Emily Engle is a freelance writer based in NYC with an interest in all things design, specifically the design process. When she's not writing about design, Emily can either be found taking care of her 31 houseplants, going on "nature" walks in her neighborhood or studying Japanese.