Change the Narrative

Rewriting the Fundamentals of Architecture

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    Upcycling as a Result of a Pandemic

    Kayla Castro
    Mar 14, '21 9:26 PM EST

    A pandemic forced architecture students inside and away from their physical makerspace. Upcycling can be revisited from the academic and professional realm of architecture.

    Model making as an art form includes an array of materials including wood, chipboard, museum board, PLA, ceramic, PVC, fabric, metal, and many more. Architecture students are expected to purchase sheets of expensive material and pay to use machines. The pandemic removed this option of model making and forced students to rethink the material available in their homes. Cereal boxes, yarn, and bobby pins soon became the medium to express architectural ideas and spaces. Upcycling products from around the house provides a different perspective on how we think about objects.

    “Lying around”

    Landfills of shipping containers continue to grow in the United States. It is sometimes cheaper to create a new shipping container than it is to reuse the existing containers. The cost of shipping containers back to another country can be greater than a cost to build a new one. With financial viability at the forefront of most companies, the impact to the environment is often ignored. As the population grows exponentially, landfills follow suit.

    Building with Trash

    Type IV and V building construction are widely used and bring devastating effects to our environment as forests are cleared at an alarming rate. This is no longer a viable option for building. 

    Shipping containers are built with corrugation to be stacked and can withstand vertical loading. These containers are completely structural, mobile, and watertight. Modular housing using shipping containers has already proven successful. Like the cereal box, these mini structures are just “lying around.” 

    I argue that creation of abodes for humans must not inevitably destroy the habitats of our ecosystem-contributors. To not upcycle trash is irresponsible. Financial gain with no regard to the environment should not be tolerated any longer. To rethink the available resources is to corroborate a sustainable future.

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This blog will explore a rewriting of the fundamentals of architecture.

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