Linoleum tiles that can be remoulded like clay

Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma, in collaboration with Dzek, show a ‘raw’ form of linoleum, that is endlessly remoudable.

Linoleum is best known as a floor covering material. It is made from solidified linseed oil, which comes from flax.

Flax has been a central theme in Meindertsma’s work over the years. In 2012, she purchased the entire harvest of a Dutch flax farmer, with the aim to recreate a once-thriving local ecosystem from flax farm to finished product. The project is still ongoing. As linoleum is also derived from flax, this material also interested her. In project, she looked ta re-using old linoleum and replacing wood dust with cattail and reed stalks, amongst other things.

With her project Local Linoleum, Meindertsma aims to make a building material that re re-pliable at the end of its life. Rather than turning the material into sheets as floor covering, the project proposes to make the material three dimensional, using local materials in the process: linseed oil from local flax farmers, wood dust as a byproduct from local furniture industry and woodworking companies, and chalk as a by-product from drinking water production.

During Milan Design Week, Meinderstma and Dzek presented a staircase clad in ‘raw’ linoleum, with no pigments, coatings and backings. The material is made using a mould and pressure press, without the need for a backing. Called Flaxwood, the material is made, like linoleum, from linseed oil, pine resin, wood dust, and chalk, but with no extra additives. This leaves a material with the colour and mottled texture of MDF.

With the project, Meinderstma aims to show the potential of the material. Linoleum can be made entirely of renewable and reclaimed materials, making it biodegradable, and it is also endlessly remouldable.

Photos: Dzek