The construction industry is one of the largest generators of waste.
Material that is once used creating stories and memories form its inhabitants becomes debris only to be relegated to the garbage dump. Debris and material that are cast out of site as waste products, have an otherness to their inherent identity. No longer of use to the primary user, but yet not completely without meaning in their fragmentary condition. These smaller components begin to take on new meaning in a bid to reappropriate what is considered mundane and subversive and elevate it into objects of desire that take on new spatial meaning.
Architecture has generally had a macro to micro approach, where the spatial narrative oftentimes precedes the textural and material quality of the lived experience. Optics of built form have superseded the very nature of inhabitation which is governed by the emotional quality of the experience.
Our project with TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute) to study the changes in the micro climate, intensely looked at the possibilities of industrial waste upcycling within the construction industry. It was aimed at building, two small units (about 8'x 8') in their terrace, to ease the study. They called it their Test Beds. At this point we were looking at the huge wastage that gets created in the modular furniture factories, as strips of plywood and particle board, dead wood, or parts of trees that are no more alive, to be used in the building processes. A proposal based on our research on how the dismissible strips of plywood, when seen as a woven infill, between frames of dead wood, can be a stable structure was hence approved by the Institution and was executed by a group of students from city colleges and office interns.
The need of the hour is about making wise decisions with regard to conservation of our non renewable material resources, reduce what gets into landfill and create a sustainable environment. What then happens to the experiential quality of the built form? Does design get relegated to being a system governed by forces that are not a product of the mind?