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Guidelines to build participatory and inclusive societies

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+art+city+creativity+placemaking+research+sustainability

portada_654x254

In order to achieve the Post-Master called Urban Research Lab Sardinia – Environmental Design at the Università di Sassari (DAP), in partnership with the Dessau Institute of Architecture (DIA) of Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, an article will be published about the project made during the italian period, under the supervision of Ecosistema Urbano: Punto d’incontro.

This is an excerpt of the introduction, including some references and case studies.

The role of the architect

The role of the architect has always been, throughout ancient and modern history, a reference point for the city growth and development. Nowadays, this figure is undergoing a massive transformation, which cannot ignore social aspects. The modern architect helps to integrate production processes within the spaces users live and use in everyday life.

The article aims to present an experiment that was personally led in a very specific local community in Sardinia (Italy) which is affected by logistic, economical and management problems. Through theoretical studies and personal analysis of a variety of existing projects, a detailed process was drafted in order to suggest a strategic action plan.

Western society has scarce resources and the European architect often asks the following question, what can I do now without nothing? In this hard times, it is far more difficult for closed solution to be imposed by a power minority than for specific temporary actions to be applied based on grassroots talks, because sensitivity is high and social groups are highly resistant to accepting any changes which have not come from within their ranks. Ecosistema Urbano (2011). “Negotiating at all level”. A + T 38. 120

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Strategy & Tactics

The first input to the change came with the drafting of Agenda 21, a voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It emphasises that broad public participation in decision making is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving sustainable development. The main goal is trying to involve the local communities in the construction process of the future of the cities. When public space is concerned, there are two ways to run over: strategy and tactics. Both are tools of equal value, but with different typology of method; they are usually known as top-down or bottom-up processes.

Tactics are actions which take place on enemy territory while strategy is always enacted on home ground. Which can lead to an immediate run-of-the-mill sharing out of roles: strategy is an instrument of power, tactics are used by citizens; strategy occupies space, tactics play out in time; strategy is used to control, tactics to protest. De Certeau, M.(1988). The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press

Recent developments of these concepts became well known under different name, but in essence they are all the same.

Tactical urbanism. It is defined as small-scale improvements in an effort to effect large-scale, long-term change.
Placemaking. It is the act of enlivening public spaces and places for the betterment of the community and its neighbors.
Participatory design. It is an approach to the assessment, design, and development of technological and organizational systems that places a premium on the active involvement of workplace practitioners (usually potential or current users of the system).

The following scheme represents the stages of the experiment:
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The Iberian trip

There was the necessity to analyze the theory, exploring some case studies and finding some references. This processes are already very disseminated all over the world, especially in USA and north Europe, where the citizens have a great sense of community and cooperation.

Nevertheless this research focused on the Mediterranean area, in this particular case in the Iberian peninsula, where the lack of organization meets high quality and creativity, typical of the Latin culture. Some of the cases shown here are real established structures, others are spaces under construction and constantly changing. The connecting link is always one of active participation.
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LXFACTORY – Lisbon

An urban fragment, kept hidden for years, is now returned to the city in the form of LXFactory. A creative island occupied by corporations and professionals of the industry serves also has stage for a diverse set of happenings related to fashion, publicity, communication, fine arts, architecture, music, etc.

lx_factory

El campo de cebada – Madrid

A group of neighbours called Distrito Centro promoted a temporary use of the vacant lof of a former public pool demolished in a district of Madrid, during the time in which the work planned for urban reuse was not to be carried out. The intention is that the space will accommodate all types of proposals/activities/projects (cultural, social, artistic, sport) for the use and enjoyment of the people of the district and all the city.

cebada

Matadero – Madrid

The old slaughterhouse and livestock market, where Matadero Madrid is now located, was built according with the project of the architect Luis Bellido. The site was architecturally transformed.
Matadero Madrid’s mission is to promote creation in all its forms and expressions. With special attention to cross-sectorial propositions, it focuses on three main action areas: training, production and dissemination.

matadero

Fabra i Coats Creation Factory – Barcelona

Fabra i Coats is a multidisciplinary space which will be promoting artistic hybridisation to become a point of reference in artistic research and in the generation of new quality contents, as well as a meeting point for groups, creators and proposals from different spheres and backgrounds.
The goal is to give support to artistic creation and it has workspaces for the performing arts, music, plastic and visual arts, multimedia creation and also for projects related to information and communication technology.

fabra i coats

Sometimes these kind of actions are not supported by a physical space, but by the people that build their spaces through some collective iniziatives, occasionally supported by a politician organization or made by self-funded artistic groups.

Urbact

It is a European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development. They enable cities to work together to develop solutions to major urban challenges, reaffirming the key role they play in facing increasingly complex societal changes. URBACT spans over 500 cities, 29 countries and 7,000 active participants.

urbact

Collectif ETC

Born in Strasbourg in 2009, this collective gathered energy around a common dynamic questioning of urban space. Through different means and different skills it wants to be a medium for experimentation. They believe that the different users of the city (residents and professionals) can all be involved in its development to a wide range of scales. The purpose and importance of these urban experiments is not only the result but also the process that generates it, as well as the new environment and new behavior it generates.

colletif etc

Boa Mistura

It is an urban art group formed at the end of 2001 in Madrid, Spain. Its members have diversity of perspectives, distinct visions which complement each other, and combine to create something unique and coherent.

boa mistura

Madrid Street Art Project

It is a noprofit association that through the organization of various activities and initiatives (urban Safaris, workshops, lectures, recovery rooms) aims to contribute to these reflections, to encourage citizens to enjoy urban art, contribute to its dissemination and support its creators.

madrid street art project

Conclusions

The final article will aim to give some semi-scientific guidelines to build participatory and inclusive societies. The new frontier of the architect should be to drive local communities in the management of public and private space, involving them in the construction process of the urban renewal. This is when the architect, as a highly knowledgeable technician, plays an essential role to mend the relation between politicians and common people.

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Y.E.S., una nave espacial para la educación | Youth Educational Spacecraft project

Category: ⚐ ES+art+creativity+educación+engineering+EntornoEducativo

red YES 6 2

Hoy comparto con ustedes un proyecto un poco especial descubierto mientras estaba buscando información sobre el festival Burning Man y educación: les presento el Youth Educational Spacecraft project (Y.E.S.). Se trata de un aula móvil con forma de nave espacial diseñada y construida por un grupo de artistas, ingenieros, niños y voluntarios. En el origen del proyecto encontramos a los artistas y educadores Dana Albany y Kal Spelletich.

En este espacio los niños podrán disfrutar de diferentes talleres como: grabación y edición de vídeo, fabricación de moldes, fusión y soplado de vidrio para los portales exteriores e interiores, mosaicos, robótica (vehículo lunar, el brazo tele-robótico), la electrónica, la construcción de instalaciones, carpintería, jardinería, cableado eléctrico, reparación de objetos, purificación del agua, vigilancia por vídeo, interfaces electrónicas, alternativas de cocina, la energía solar, la iluminación, sistemas de control remoto, historia del arte, promover y exhibir su arte. Para esto, la nave está equipada con unos “elementos robóticos de sorpresa”; generador de luz con manivela, un robot para tocar violín, etc.

Aquí, el proceso educativo de una obra en común permite despertar la curiosidad de los niños. Los expertos usan recursos técnicos específicos, digitales o analógicos, que controlan perfectamente y transmiten un conocimiento con la práctica.

El proyecto arrancó en el Exploratorium de San Francisco y siguió con Burning Man 2013. La movilidad de esta micro-arquitectura les permite aumentar su red de participantes. Su objetivo es trabajar con escuelas, centros artísticos, científicos, festivales o cualquier otra estructura que defienda la creatividad.

Ver más:
Walker with hat and glass
Spaceship design
Dana Albany explaining de spaceship concept
YES at Bruning Man 2013

Financiación actual: Maker FaireBlack Rock Arts Foundation, The Exploratorium, Black Rock City LLC, Burning Man Project, The Crucible y un business angel.

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MetaMap | Interview with Christian Nold on his mapping projects

Category: ⚐ EN+art+city+creativity+landscape+MetaMap+technologies

Biomapping device and GPS

Today, I present the interview with Christian Nold where he shares his experience with mapping projects such as Bio MappingGreenwich Emotion Map, and SanFrancisco. He describes himself with the following:

Christian Nold is an artist, designer, and educator working to develop new participatory models for communal representation. In 2001, he wrote the well received book ‘Mobile Vulgus’, which examined the history of the political crowd and which set the tone for his research into participatory mapping. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2004, Christian has led a number of large scale participatory projects and worked with teams on diverse academic research projects. In particular, his ‘Bio Mapping’ project has received large amounts of international publicity and has been staged in 16 different countries and over 1500 people have taken part in his workshops and exhibitions.
In 2007, Christian Nold founded Softhook Design, which is now providing large scale public discussion projects, such as the TownToolkit. Christian Nold teaches at the Bartlett University, College of London and is a guest lecturer at Aalborg University of Denmark and an active member of the Council for the Internet of Things.

Galvanic Skin Response in a busy traffic crossing

1. How did you get to the practice of mapping? 

Mapping for me is a way to understand shared places. I entered this area through psychogeography and the idea that there might be shared psychological and unseen, but political structures that underlie the physical environment around us. Mapping then becomes a way of trying to record this kind of exploration. The shared mental and physical spaces, which are shaped into the form of a map, are such a familiar way of recording spaces that we can all access.

2. In what way do you obtain and treat the data for your mapping?

I utilize different types of mapping in my work, but my main interest is trying to articulate the blend of space between mind and material. The sources of my data tend to be ambiguous, such as physiological arousal, smells, sounds, feelings of being in or out of control, or illicit behavior.  My real interest is trying to map things that are difficult to map, or for political reasons, are not being mapped at all.

3. What is the application of open source mapping you are interested in the most?

What interests me about open source mapping is the way it provides agency for people to redefine how things are done.  The openness allows people to redefine mapping in terms of what is being mapped, as well as how to do the mapping.

Greenwich emotion map

4. What is the next phase of development your research is undergoing?

I’m currently researching whether mapping is a device ethnography at the Extreme Citizen Science Group at UCL.  This means I’m trying to trace networks of knowledge and power being generated by sensing devices and trying to map and articulate what is going on there. The final results will not be maps, but will utilize the methodology and thinking of mapping to uncover the relationships between entities, which I think is the core of what mapping is truly about.

5. What are you personal references for the theme of mapping (from ancient to contemporary ones)?

 I love some of the pre-modern maps that blend stories and myths, as well as local plants, flowers, and animals that simultaneously describe the physical environment.  Many of those maps show a freedom of blending together and crossing between categories that you don’t see any more in modern maps. Nowadays, maps seem to focus more on what they exclude rather than focusing on what they represent.

San Francisco emotion map

You can see related posts in the metamap series.

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Fun as building material | Marielyst STRAND, competition proposal by Kristine Jensen and Ecosistema Urbano

Category: ⚐ EN+colaboraciones+competitions+creativity+design+ecosistema urbano+landscape+urbanism

Marielyst is a small town in the south of Denmark well known for being one of the most popular holiday locations on the Baltic Sea. Since the beginning of XX century its 20 km of white sand beaches attracted an increasing number of seasonal tourists, up to host nowadays 6000 summer houses in its area. The spatial configuration of Marielyst appears chaotic and it’s lacking of a recognisable identity; the main element of the urban structure is the principal street, a traffic vein that allows people to reach the heart of the small town, and from which secondary narrow streets start connecting every single wooden house. The subject of Marielyst competition was finding and providing a spatial organization to this place in order to structure an urban articulation among its parts. Moreover, an important feature to be considered in this site’s revitalization was the “beachy” atmosphere of Marielyst, its main character.

As usual, we worked with a multidisciplinary and international team, with the Danish landscape Office Kristine Jensen, after being chosen among 4 other finalists.

plan

Plan

Our proposition started from the identification of the land’s shape, which changed its configuration many times until the present. In the past, the island of Falster -where Marielyst is located- was composed by three smaller islands and was crossed by water; the area had been also flooded and remained swampy for many years, until the late 1800, when it was drained. Inspired by this ancient situation, we conceived the idea of   “Delta“, a sinuous and porous path that connects the dynamic activities of urban space with the relaxed atmosphere of a beach context.

Summer time

Summer time

The landscape project focuses on the valorization of the great quality of the natural elements that characterize the site -pines, sea, sand dunes, dike, grass- making them stand out very clearly. The concept of  “Delta” appears with the intention of spreading many accesses to these natural landmarks, connecting them through physical and conceptual paths. The Delta structure allows to pull the beach ambience in the urban space, both melted in a fluid unity; the achievement of this atmosphere is possible by choosing very soft and discreet materials to create paths and furniture elements, by substituting the current asphalt with tracks, marks and signs that simplify integration between the two ‘souls’ of the place.

winter time

Witer time

We elaborated one of the main aspects of Marielyst STRAND proposition, the activity plan. “Let it be fun!” is the motto we’ve chosen to summarize our idea to regenerate this area, being certain that the requalification of an urban space could not disregard the involvement of people in making the place alive.

The activity plan during daytime

The activity plan during daytime

Activity plan for the night

Activity plan for the night

We’ve developed a series of entertaining and bizarre urban objects and we have settled them in the Marielyst area in order to provide several activities aimed to reinvigorate the site during summer as well as winter time. We have tried to get inspired by the surrounding environment to elaborate ideas that allow people to appreciate the visible and the invisible natural local elements.

catalogue

Catalogue

Our proposition for Marielyst urban contest mainly consisted in designing urban objects strictly connected with natural elements that characterize the site, like rich vegetation, long beaches, fresh water and strong wind. The objective of our urban design strategy for Marielyst was to transform this ordinary beach on the Danish coast in a unique and very attractive site that could easily become a reference point for people who want to spend funny holidays in sustainable way.

Catalogue

Catalogue

The catalogue includes elements to enjoy the view of landscape from above (the watching tower, the balloon in the sky); elements integrated in the vegetation that allow to take advantage of its amenity in an unconventional way (the hammocks, the spider net, the hanging chairs, the fireplace); objects that transform the beach in a big playground (the playful tower, the oversized playground); objects that use wind to catch its power and transform it into energy (the windmill lamp) or just exploit its strength to create ephemeral landmarks (the wind fish, the wind parade).

Catalogue

Catalogue

Other elements are mobile and contribute to constantly change the configuration of the place, like the rolling cabins -temporary supports for sport activities or refreshment bars-, or the vehicles on wheels, a kind of elaborated bikes that could be used to move along the city and create temporary stages, movable slides, or on the road benches. Moreover a big attention is given to the socializing areas, as the rooftop terrace of an existing building along the main street, the picnic area or the water cloud, a playful object very useful to refresh atmosphere during sunny days of Baltic summer.

Catalogue

Catalogue

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Design-Analyse-Build | A methodology put to practice

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+creativity+sustainability

I would like to share with you my personal experience  in a ‘Design-Analyse-Build’ way of design.  Some of you might think, that it sounds not so innovative and most of the architects work in that way, that’s probably could be the truth, BUT there are some specific tips that make this experience unique.

In this post I will refer to the workshop that I shared in IED Torino Master SUS with the main coordinators  ARCò and MCArchitects studio, about designing an off-grid sustainable school for Palestine, Gaza_Rafah.

Firstly, I want to meet you with a work plan, that we were followed:

1. Climate analysis of an area
2. Analysis of the state conditions and local features of the area
3. Understanding the type of users and their needs
4. Environmental strategies selection
5. Concept creation
6. Design process
7. Shadow, daylight and glare analysis using Ecotect
8. Model 1:1 scale prototype

The first step was to analyse the climate of the area to understand the possible environmental strategies we can use and make a list of parameters that is better to avoid or conversely exploit during design process. The most tricky stuff was to find the weather data for Palestine, because nowadays all the information about it is classified, due to the war. Finally we had to use  weather data of  Beer Sheeva that located nearby in territory of Egypt.

 

The result of a Climate analysis using  

During most of the year temperature is above the comfort zone.. The winter is short, but is noticed with a humid winds. The summer period  lasts almost 7 months and accompanied with high temperature of the air and wind.The difference between the highest and lowest temperature during the day is about 10°.With this climate is important to orient building to protect it from the direct sun during summer and to capture it during winter. Also the building should be covered from strong winter wind,but use the summer ones.

The second step was to find out the location of  Rafah city and underline  the main function of that place.  One of the most important thing was to see the actual state of the construction site, that was almost impossible due to the hostilities.

Site location. Palestine. GazaStrip, Rafah

Rafah is situated in the southern part of the GazaStrip in Palestine, at the border with Egypt. According to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel at Camp in 1982, Rafah was divided into two parts. One part was assigned to Egypt, the other part to the Gaza Strip. Nowadays Rafah is the only point of importance in the country.

The third step was to ‘meet’ the users. In this case we had to try being in their shoes, imagining lifestyle of a kid who was born and had been living all of his life in a war situation, always surrounded with fences and swaying wire in a lack of green safety spaces and entertainments.

The site is located in the central empty area of Rafah. It is surrounded with residential houses and a big warehouse.In the real-time the site is full of  excavated earth, because of the erasion of the previous construction, after the bombing.

From 1948 the population of Palestine live in the war situation.. So the country has problems in many different fields, one of it belongs to children and it is lack of schools and areas for children activities

The fourth step was to choose the environmental strategies to follow to reach the off-grid building. This phase is strongly related to the climate analysis. In this case, is very helpful to see the vernacular architecture of a place to choose the right strategies.

Image is made by Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli|

workshop ‘Una scuola sostenibile’ in IED Torino

The fifth step is a sort of summary of all the strategies we chose for the building – concept creation. Concept is the phase right before the design process, so it was important to choose the right orientation, shape, functional zones etc. We were also advice to make a simple symbol or logo that would describe our project in few seconds, that finally could become sort of a brend.

 ‘The Earth is our school, so let’s make the school with earth!’

Image is made by Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli | workshop ‘Una scuola sostenibile’ in IED Torino

One of the most important steps was analysis of the building with Ecotect, Autodesk 2011. For this project we had to make several calculations, such as: solar, shadow, daylight and glare analysis.

Usually  shadow analysis is calculated for the longest and shortest day in the year, such as 21st of December and 21st of June. In this case we also did computings for 21st of march to get proper results and see if the overhangs are useful during al the year.

Solar analysis shows us the amount of sun hours that building surfaces receive during the day. It gives us the idea of facade protection from the direct sun. It also could be very useful to see the best position for the PV panels to let them produce the maximum energy.

Daylight factor analysis is the ratio of internal light level to external light level.A low asks for classrooms a 5% daylight factor. For  art, craft, technological laboratories thatratio is even higher. Daylight can be used to offset the need for artificial lighting and hence reduce dependency and consumption on electricity and the greenhouse gas emitted. Effective daylight distribution must be achieved in a manner that brings visual satisfaction to the occupants.

Glare analysis is a calculation about number of direct sun or reflection coming from a very bright source outside the field of view. The reflection may cause discomfort as well as the additional annoyance of veiling or masking out the information which is being sought within that view.The result of  analysis using

The final step was a model in 1:1 scale that we built-in one of the parks in Turin city. It was a great chance to ‘feel’ the construction and understand the weak and strong points of it. In my personal opinion, it was one the best parts of design, when you make the proof to your ideas and drawings, so you can be sure that the techniques you had chosen is stable and can answer to your expectations.

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Becas IAAC 2012-2013

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+creativity+news+technologies+urbanism

IAAC scholarships

 

More information:

www.iaac.net
www.iaacblog.com
www.fablabbcn.org

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Shop with a concept: Unpackaged

Category: ⚐ EN+creativity+sustainability

Unpackaged is one of the shops with interesting, environmental friendly, and ethical concepts. Their philosophy is simple and they are describing it with this statement: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (Buckminster Fuller)



photo: www.flicker.com (c) Grainger Laffan (globalpressgang.com).
For The Social Enterprise Coalition

The model of “world with less wasteful packaging” was created in 2006 by Catherine Conwayin, and company is achieving it one customer at a time. Unpackaged was set because Catherine wanted to refill her groceries using her own containers. She set up shop that made it really easy for customers to come and refill all their daily essentials. The products they sell are usually seasonal and from local production, with minimal transportation, mostly certified organic, and fair trade. In Unpackaged shop in London you can buy the exact amount you need or want so you don’t waste anything and also save money. And in the end going packaging-free means also that less waste will end in landfills.

How It Works? They are giving us some instructions:

– Remember to bring your containers* from home (if you forget, you can buy reusable containers here)
– Come to Unpackaged & say hello
– Weigh your containers at the counter then choose the product & amount you want
– Take your goods home & enjoy
– When you’ve run out, come back for a refill, simple as that!

*Containers: bring anything you like, there’s nothing to date that we haven’t been able to refill (even our lovely friend who likes putting lentils in old water bottles!) Bring glass jars, tupperware, old takeaway cartons, brown paper bags, plastic bags, old packaging.. if it’s heavy, we’ll weigh it first, if it’s light then just refill and we’ll weigh at the end.


photo: www.flicker.com (c) Grainger Laffan (globalpressgang.com).
For The Social Enterprise Coalition

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URBACT | The city of our dreams

Category: ⚐ EN+creativity+urbact

Chaos unceasingly invents lives never imagined
Boris Cyrulnik

Let’s accept the crisis. Personally, I accept it convinced that it has an important systemic character and that it urges us to act because we are still far from seeing signs of the crisis bottoming out.

As a society, we have neglected all the signs that forecasted the collapse of the economic system for decades, and we have insisted in pursuing till the end a development model that, besides being deeply unfair and unbalanced, has shown itself to be exquisitely hypocritical, in particular for those of us who have tasted it to a greater extent.

The population of the so called developed countries have placidly flown with the tide of the promise of individual happiness, of the illusion of personal fulfilment, of the glare of the American dream….

The blindness caused by the flashes of the consumer society has driven us to an individualized existence, to the point that we have forgotten every social or environmental compromise with our environment. Meanwhile, we were begging to establish economic links with external powers we don’t even know, nor understand, and, of course we don’t control. These links have made us accomplices of this human devastation and environmental pillaging our mortgaged planet is suffering. continue reading

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Third edition of Public Design Festival from 12th to 17th April

Category: ⚐ EN+creativity+design


The event will take place in four main public areas that need to be re-designed around the citizens.

Public Design Festival is also get-together, exchange and occasion to create new opportunities for young designers to show up their ideas and projects. For that reason the festival is organizing.

PUBLIC MARKET is a marketplace entirely dedicated to self produced design pieces, processed crafts, limited edition objects.

PUBLIC MARKET is the chance to present new design ideas and sell them directly.

PUBLIC MARKET is the place where young designers can presents their works, in the contest of the design week.

PUBLIC MARKET is a market of ideas, experiences and stories from all over the world

PUBLIC MARKET will take place on Saturday 16th at Parco Esposizioni Novegro and will be the main content of Public Design Party event, the traditional closing party of the design week.

For more information: www.publicdesignfestival.org

produced by Esterni.

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2012Architecten and a little more about their ¨superuse¨

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+creativity

2012Architecten were recently featured in my ecological design fundamentals post for their ¨superuse¨ of building materials. Rather than an afterthought,  material usage plays a central role in the design processes of these dutch architects. Approaching each project with the unique mindset that local discarded materials will shape their final design, the creations of 2012Architecten are not only examples of sustainable architecture practice, they are also fun, exciting examples of  urban creativity at it´s best. 2012Architechiten are ahead of thier time and, fittingly, thier projects tend to have a futuristic feel.  The three projects featured  below utilize, for example,  rotor blades, cable reels, sinks and steel beams that once held a textile factory together.

Wikado: continue reading