Design As Catalyst

Elliot Lunn



Instagram @elliotlunn

Degree Details

School of Design

I am a product designer with a passion for designing, making and problem solving. From extracting sand from concrete to make glass, designing educational tools and managing exhibitions. Elliot’s work addresses modest materials, traditional making and education with a concern for sustainability and craft. 

Finite Fragments

IMG 5621 Edit

IMG 5520

IMG 3959

Sample 3 001 — The project developed a process of removing and refining sand from spelt concrete, sourced from the construction industry. The extracted samples were taken to the Natural History Museum to be studied under a Scanning electron microscope, this was to review the quartz grains and the crystalline structure covering them.

IMG 3829 — The project in its current state is a work in progress. To turn sand into glass takes temperatures of over 1700°C. The current method uses a hacked kitchen microwave to achieve these high temperatures, it acts as a proof of concept and creates the small samples.

Sand is a finite resource. This a research project that attempts to highlight the issue of sand scarcity. The process of creating glass from spelt concrete is one that seems almost impossible. However, the outcome is a glistening, indistinguishable piece of glass. This research process attempts to illuminate the material value trapped in the objects that we simply throw away.

The world is running out of sand. Apart from water, sand is the most used resource by humankind, 50 billion tons is consumed every year. Concrete and glass could be considered pivotal uses of sand that have shaped the way modern society lives. These materials play an integral role in the structures we inhabit, to the objects we interact with on a daily basis. The construction industry's production of concrete is the main culprit of sand scarcity.

To many, sand can appear to be an endless resource that covers beaches and deserts all around the world, but it is important to note that not all sand is the same. Desert sand eroded by air is too smooth and fine. Beach is full of contaminants such as shell, biomass and salt. Hard quartz grains slowly water eroded makes the perfect suit for the construction industry. This can be found at the bed of rivers and lakes across the world, and are being harvested for this valuable material as we speak.


Glass from concrete


6 month
critical design
product design

The Greyfield Project Video

Greyfield website
Launch Project

Greyfield website

Greyfield Studio

Greyfield Final 2



Greyfield Project system

West Kensington Youth Group Stool

West Kensington Youth Group Cinema

West Kensington Youth Group Cinema

The Greyfield Project proposes to repurpose underused, or empty buildings, to activate local cultural programmes of creative residencies. By creating a temporary cultural infrastructure, that is localised and relevant, Greyfield addresses the gap between access to creativity and participation between artists and local communities.

There are 51,000 empty council-owned garages across London that have the potential to be activated as creative spaces. These underused spaces could become temporary residency spaces for emerging, and established creatives, to promote social cohesion and celebrate the heritage of the estates. As part of the Greyfield pilot scheme, we worked with West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates. The unused garages in the estates have been utilised to establish an art committee and transformed into artist residency studios.

Outreach is an important element of socially engaged practice and this is especially true with Greyfield. However, like many, Greyfield too has been affected by COVID-19, therefore our approach to outreach had to adapt to these times. Through sending out activity packs and creating online virtual workshops we strengthened our relationship with the West Ken youth club. Developing an expected proposal of a pop-up cinema space, built, designed, and programmed by the young people on the estates.

Greyfield is a replicable model for transforming empty council-owned space which started to emerge from our work within West Kensington, which we plan to continue to develop and deploy after graduating from the RCA.

Find more information from the project website


Social sustainably


6 month

Georgia Cottington:
A collaborative project with fellow designer Georgia Cottington

Publication site — Follow the link to read the latest issue of 2MD.

Editor & co-founder of the DP publication, 2MD:

Too Many Designers (2MD) is a publication by Design Products Students at the Royal Collage of Art. We would like to give you a glimpse of what we are thinking, not just making. Welcome to our second issue. Pandemic.



Georgia Cottington:
Royal College of Art
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