Prized poop: Elephant dung bricks win design award

January 3, 2022 |

In Thailand, architect Boonserm Premthada has won the designboom social impact Design Prize for developing bricks made from elephant dung. 

Made in the Thai village of ban ta klang—an area known for having many domesticated elephants—the bricks are just the first step in promoting the use of elephant dung, Premthada tells Design Boom. “With potentials in art and architecture, this experimental material can be developed into an actual functioning structure — proving how natural resources can be upcycled in a way […] that maximizes the benefits of the natural resource.” 

To make the bricks, the colossal poops are collected, mixed with cement and water, and placed into molds to harden. Elephants’ high-fiber diet helps make the bricks exceptionally durable. 

The Design Bloom Design Prize recognizes “both the extraordinary achievements and little sparks of beauty and delight that have emerged over the past 12 months.” The award is handed out annually by designboom “with the patronage” of the Italian city of Milan. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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