Geneva, December 2022

Nowadays, construction stands out as one of the most polluting sectors. What was once perceived as a source of value a few centuries ago has transformed into a wellspring of waste. We grapple with the overconsumption of materials, equipment, and lighting, to the detriment of the environment and people’s well-being. As interior architects, we find ourselves compelled to transform, renew, and rearrange various spaces to meet the evolving demands, usage, and identity renewal of a place. However, the “usual” processes often entail replacing a substantial amount of still viable materials with new raw materials. How can we prioritize the use of local resources?

In the context of an in-situ workshop within a building destined for renovation, Master of Arts students in Interior Architecture from HEAD – Genève delved into the potential reuse of materials on-site. This workshop complemented theoretical and practical courses covering the themes of reuse, deconstruction, and eco-conception. How has reuse evolved throughout the history of architecture? How can we implement reuse in today’s context? What processes should be in place to achieve this, and who are the key actors involved? What if we learned to deconstruct a building to better understand how to design the next one?

The students initiated the course by developing a method to inventory the material components of the building. Doors, false ceilings, metal structures, and other building components were dismantled by the students to understand the deconstruction processes and assess their possibilities for reuse. All these resources were then consolidated in one room – an ephemeral warehouse of reusable materials – from which the students were free to draw inspiration to develop their own projects. Taking the materials out of their original context helped rediscover these resources from a different perspective. This approach required a rethinking of design processes, utilizing available materials as inspiration for project development rather than starting from a drawing.

The exhibition showcases the materials in their original context, dismantled, and repurposed as pieces of furniture. Consequently, each item of furniture has its own history and is showcased to highlight the potential of materials that were initially destined for waste. The collection includes assembly instructions, indicating how to reproduce the items and the required amount of material.


Workshop Leaders: Manon Portera, Valentine Maeder (apropå atelier)


Ségolène Davister, Luna Florey, Kristina Kambolova, Natalia Krymskaya, Andreas Laskaris, Alexandra Miskufova, Valentina Carmen Pantalena, Marie Lesley Schild, Marie Torrione, Kirill Vinokurov

© HEAD-Genève