Mother Nature is lovely, but relentless; more and more, it seems like recovery-mode is standard operating procedure for large swathes of the world. On a small scale, some designers are finding ways to give new life to the damage left behind by natural disasters. Following a 5.9 earthquake that shook northern Italy in 2012, prolific designer Patricia Urquiola teamed up with inlay brand Budri to utilize their extensive archive of marble and stones that were damaged in the trembler.

Earthquake 5.9 is the wide-ranging result, a mix of bookcases, tables, and vases made from busted slabs and broken fragments.

Like Reclaim NYC before it—a design-minded response to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy—and the scores of projects inspired by the ongoing reconstruction in Japan following 2011's devastating earthquake and tsunami, these collections represent what is likely going to be an increasingly common typology: Construction from destruction.

In some ways, the efforts dovetail with the push for more responsible manufacturing, and an ever-growing desire to streamline production methods and cut down on needless waste. Here, however, "waste" is the main ingredient, and using it in new ways saves it from going to the landfill en masse. [DetNK]