What a Waste
Sustainability is always a big question. From how it is defined to how it is carried out. In Architecture, sustainability is defined into a set of parameters and checklists. Designing by manual at its worst. Nobody questions how truly sustainable it is and nobody questions the role we play in ignoring it. This graduation is a research into the architect's role in the field of sustainability. Zooming into the process of recycling materials and the factories we build to facilitate them, the research indicated a huge inefficiency and a complete lack of transparency at many levels.
As architects we tend to try and over-predict and over-plan the correct way of doing things. Definitive statements, concrete buildings and bold gestures. This leaves little room for innovation and sadly even less for sustainability. We have to be flexible enough to leave space in our designs for them to be completely changed according to demand, to admit your temporary effect on the world and to help facilitate the needs of those around you. Flexibility is a key ingredient to sustainability as defined by this research. A toolbox of simple design interventions and a blank canvas, open to change and interpretation by the future occupants of the land.
The research indicated to me that we could use this site to tackle the recycling of aluminium and household products. The stack of NS trains waiting to be decommissioned asked me a simple question.
What happens to old vehicles?
We live in a culture where we believe our rubbish has no value. Innovators and technological development has opened the door for us to attach value to our waste. Breaking down the inefficient globalization of the recycling industry, reducing thousands of wasted kilometres in transport, and tonnes of burnt carbon fuels and bring recycling to our doorstep. We need to open up this hidden industry and teach our population about how to tackle these issues beyond putting plastic in a plastic bin. We need to be educated, and we need to change how we operate.
Commission members: Laurens Jan ten Kate (mentor), Lada Hrsak, Hans Hammink. Additional members for the exam: Jeroen van Mechelen, Elsbeth Falk.