Ceramic Waste Made Bricks offer a Sustainable Urban Flooding Solution | Permeable YiBrick

Yi Design, a Chinese materials company founded by curator and artist Caroline Cheng and designer Karl Yin, has introduced an innovative solution to address flooding issues in urban areas. The Permeable YiBrick, developed by the company, is a porous brick crafted from 90 per cent recycled ceramic waste obtained from industrial porcelain manufacturers in Jingdezhen, China’s ceramics capital. The move comes as a response to the substantial amount of waste generated by the country’s ceramics industry, estimated at around 18 million tonnes annually, with a significant portion ending up illegally discarded or buried. Know more about it on SURFACES REPORTER (SR).


The Permeable YiBrick stands out as an absorbent alternative to conventional cement bricks, enabling it to harvest rainwater and redirect it away from the sewage system by permeating through the ground.

Yi Design tackles this environmental challenge by collecting waste from selected local producers, processing it through grinding, and binding it with a specially formulated non-organic chemical binder devoid of plastics and cement. The resulting material serves as the foundation for durable products, including the Permeable YiBrick, manufactured in the company’s Jingdezhen factory established in 2021. This innovative brick incorporates up to 97 per cent recycled waste in its production, rendering it highly porous and resilient.


This innovative brick incorporates up to 97 per cent recycled waste in its production, rendering it highly porous and resilient.

The Permeable YiBrick stands out as an absorbent alternative to conventional cement bricks, enabling it to harvest rainwater and redirect it away from the sewage system by permeating through the ground. Designed for use in various architectural contexts, it finds particular utility in sponge cities – urban spaces that manage stormwater by retaining, filtering, and gradually releasing it. The bricks are also suitable for outdoor applications in paving areas, gardens, and even as a base for water fountains.

Image credit: Yi Design

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