A Study in Clay

From the traditional terracotta roof tile to homewares, our “Study in Clay” reflects upon the past and new uses of an iconic resource.

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Can design combined with a single resource revive a declining industry ?

The starting point of our investigation has been the discovery of a sand extraction quarry, located next to Saint-Quentin-de-la-Poterie, which produces 5 000 tonnes of clay every month that is disregarded as waste.Situated 9 kms in the opposite direction, thousands of tonnes of clay lie unused as a cheaper international alternative has ended its economic viability. In total, five “waste clay” types have been uncovered in the bioregion.

Research is being carried out to find ways to better use this vast resource within the local region and industries. So far, our research team has created 60 unique clay recipes for ceramic production. The aim of the project is also to reactivate former uses of clay in the Camargue and the surrounding region, which was once home to hundreds of ceramic factories.

The outcome of our studies could represent a great opportunity for both the local industrial and creative communities, with numerous independent artisans choosing our region to set up their pottery studios.

// Year of research : 2018

Project team

  • Daniel Bell

    dbell@luma-arles.org | Architect D.E / Project Manager, Atelier Luma

    Arles, France

  • Henna Burney

    hburney@luma-arles.org | Product Designer / Project Manager, Atelier Luma

    Arles, France

  • Elliot Rogosin

    Architect, ETAC

    London, United Kingdom

  • Amir Afshar

    Architect, ETAC

    London, United Kingdom

  • Niels Werner Hersmann

    Architect, ETAC

    London, United Kingdom

  • Baptiste Heurdebaigt

    Fulchiron industrial Director, Fulchiron industrielle

    Vallabrix (carrière de sable), France

  • Charles Essautier


    St. Quentin la Poterie, France

  • Marie Gueydon Des Dives


    Saturargues (Parc naturel de Camargue), France

  • Isabelle Doblas


    Saturargues (Parc naturel de Camargue), France

  • Cécile Cayrol


    Arles, France

  • Natsuko Uchino


    St. Quentin la Poterie, France

  • Aude Halbert

    Project Manager, Voyons voir

    Aix-en-Provence, France

  • Christine Réfalo

    Mediator, Musée de la Poterie Méditerranéenne

    Saint-Quentin-la-Poterie, France

  • Jessie Lee

    Grymsdyke Farm


  • Frédéric Salvat

    Quarries Responsible, Monier

    Carrière de puyloubier et carrière Du Puy, France


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