Nowadays, construction is one of the most polluting sectors. What was seen as a source of value a few centuries ago has become a source of waste. We are facing over-consumption of materials, equipment and lighting, to the detriment of the environment and people’s wellbeing. As interior architects, we are led to transform, renew and rearrange various spaces to respond to changes in assignment, use and the renewal of a place’s identity. The “usual” processes involve the replacement of a large amount of still viable materials with new raw materials. How can we prioritise the use of surrounding resources?
As part of an in-situ workshop within a building destined to be renovated, MA students in Interior Architecture from HEAD – Genève addressed the potential reuse of materials on site. The workshop supplemented theoretical and practical courses dealing with the themes of reuse, deconstruction and eco-conception. How has reuse evolved through the history of architecture? How can reuse be implemented nowadays? What processes should be implemented to achieve this? Who are the actors involved? What if we learned to deconstruct a building to better understand how to design the next one?
The students started 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 in order to understand dismantling processes and to verify their possibilities of reuse. All those resources were then gathered in one room – an ephemeral warehouse of reuse materials – from which the students were free to draw to develop their own project. Taking the materials out of their original context helped rediscover those resources through a different perspective. This approach required rethinking design processes and using available materials as a source of inspiration to develop projects, rather than starting from a drawing.
The exhibition showcases the materials in their original context, dismantled, and as pieces of furniture. Thus, each item of furniture has its own history and is enhanced, showing the potential of a material that was meant to become waste. The collection comes with assembly instructions, indicating how to reproduce the items and the amount of material required.
apropå atelier :
Valentina Carmen Pantalena
Marie Lesley Schild