Collegium Helveticum

Building Blocks for Reuse
Art, Ethics, and Engineering


Venue & accessibility info: Meridian Hall, Collegium Helveticum

This is a public event. Participation is free of charge.

The workshop is followed by a small reception

We need our homes, buildings and infrastructure. They keep us warm and productive, and yet they pose a dilemma. The way we design our built environment is unsustainable. Construction and demolition comprise forty percent of western countries’ waste streams and consume a significant fraction of our energy needs.

To sustain our built environment, we must integrate its delivery into a circular economy. This workshop brings together various disciplines to deconstruct the linear economy: artists, architects, engineers, scientists, ethicists, humanists, economists, and people who are simply curious. The task is daunting. There is so much to refuse, rethink, remanufacture, repurpose, redesign, reduce, reuse, renew, repair, recycle and retrieve. Reuse now rules in the worlds of fashion, design and art. So, the question that will be discussed at this workshop is: How can we make the reuse of construction materials economical and attractive as a process?

The workshop begins in virtual reality to help us explore and visualize construction materials reuse design and process options. A wooden pavilion, steel trees, and concrete masses are available for deconstruction and assembly into new designs (see pictures below). Will this help us imagine a future where reuse is a standard for our industry? Can we make it real? The speakers in the plenary session have answers to those questions and in the end of the workshop, building blocks for reuse might result.

Entering the pavillion in virtual reality.

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