‘Saponaceous’ puts the ordinary bar of soap in a completely new light. The project represents the culmination of an experimental research on the saponification process, completed in a collaboration between Italian designer and photographer Federico Floriani and Mexican designer Fernando Laposse. Both a soap textures study and an exploration of color and geometric volumes, the project highlights the potential of the raw materials while also proposing a creative way to minimize industrial waste.
To make the sculptural objects, the designers used fried oil from fast food joints, as well as animal fat sourced from butcher shops in North London. With the help of an exothermic reaction and the addition of lye and natural pigments, the unappealing components transformed into a neutral base, ready for the designers’ creative input. By sculpting and molding the soap, Laposse and Floriani produced a fascinating collection that features geometric shapes and architectural elements.
Charcoal and dark pigments help to create the illusion of solid marble or concrete, while a lock of hair references an African tradition meant to protect living spaces against bad spirits. Regardless of their textures or shapes, all of the soaps in this collection encourage the viewer to see the ubiquitous item and recycling in a new way. Photographs© Federico Floriani and Fernando Laposse.