Buildings as material stores and material stories

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition


This exhibition at the world’s largest design and build trade exhibition Futurebuild presented mapped waste resources re-made into recycled building products from within a city.

The building industry contributes to 66% of materials used, creates 45% of carbon emissions as a result and generates 33% of waste (WRAP, 2016)

'Buildings as material stores' presents a methodology for change in linear building design orthodoxy to more ‘virtuous’ circular economies. We 'borrow' the resources for the life of the form of the building in a way that we can re-deploy them when business, society and / or culture decides it wants a change - designing for disassembly and illuminating waste as materials that can be continually reused in circular systems in the future.

'Buildings as materials stories' promotes the material narratives and stories that are embodied within ‘waste’ materials that can be exploited when we reuse and recycle them. When we recycle the material we also recycle its history and meaning. We design means to change both the social and material value of the fabric of the city through authentic re-use and rich material messaging and language. We map ‘abundant’ resources across the city and fringes and recompose these as new, local, material vernaculars.

Materials include feathers and polyester from waste duvets, plastics from sea waste, oyster shells from fisheries and restaurants recast as meaningful mediators of sustainable material culture of the city. We change both the physical and cultural landscape of our ‘circular-city’ recognizing that waste is a result of what we feel and think as well as what we do.

Our design research into the valorization of waste is in part undertaken through the Sustainable Bio and Waste Resources for Construction, EU Interreg project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2019


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