Hewn out of the mountains of Northern Tuscany, Carrara marble has been used for everything from the Trajan Column to Michalengelo’s David. It’s one of the most timeless materials around. Comparatively, there’s nothing timeless about a PlayStation 4 controller, a Bluetooth speaker, or a smartphone charging station. They’re ephemeral in the way that only technology can be.
It’s this contrast that Italian design house Clique explores in its second collection of beautifully carved marble objects as modern day tech accessories, each of which strives to capture the tension between the timeless and the ephemeral. Unveiled last week at Milan Design Week, Clique teamed up with T&D Robotics to use advanced three-dimensional scanners and carving techniques to create each of these beautiful objets de tech.
There are six objects, each rendered in marble. The Asola is an LED table lamp with built-in USB charging ports. The Chichera is a charging station for smartphones and tablets made of marble and cork. The Coulisse is a suspended Bluetooth speaker, whose height can be adjusted using a fabric cord. There’s also Din, a digital clock that uses the transparency of marble to turn its Carrara finish into a digital clock face, and the Joy, a charging station for a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller. Finally, there’s the Apollo, a marble dome that you can put over your Wi-Fi router, accented in beech wood and cork.
Clique’s second collection will be available for sale in the coming months. Given the irreplaceable nature of Carrara marble, it’s natural to wonder about the ethics of using a resource like marble to make accessories this frivolous. Then again, all of our gadgets are filled with elements infinitely rarer than marble, that we throw away every few years without thinking about twice. Maybe the point here is to make us think twice about the precious materials we toss in the trash every day.
You can see Clique’s 2015 Collection here.