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“WASTE AS RESOURCE” | Terra Viva Workshop n° 6 | 08-11 February 2018 | Politecnico di Milano

January 17, 2018


The workshop is inspired by the new book by Duncan Baker-Brown: “The Re-use Atlas. A designer’s guide towards a circular economy”. The developed economies are predicated on waste, but they rarely conceive this waste as a resource. “More than 90% of raw materials used in manufacturing become waste before the product leaves the factory, while 80% of the products get thrown away within the six months of their life”. Construction in Europe accounts for 33% of all waste.  


There is a counter trend, however, and both building materials and processes are adjusting to a more circular economy. One of the most interesting displays at the last architecture Biennale in Venice has been the installation “A History of Waste” by the young Polish architect Hugon Kowalski, who after doing research on how materials are recuperated in Mumbai, turned his mind to European building products, attempting to reveal their performance in terms of “cradle to cradle” economical processes. Here you could touch new synthetic materials, Stone-cycling, Smile-plastics, Derbigum roofing, Inno-therm insulators, Mohawk flooring and learn what significant percentage is made from recyclables and what optimal rate of recycling the product can yield; Sus-con, a new concrete made of 100% recycled materials performs best, while Marley Eternit, performs the worst.


1) The first challenge in the workshop research will be to work on Baker-Brown’s book and Kowalski’s exhibition to evaluate a range of recycled building materials (during a previous Terra Viva WS students have already been testing and using recycled plastic for the foundation of the AGRIshelter prototype).


2) The second area of research will be more project-oriented, following the presentation by Alessio Battistella from “ARCò – Architettura e Cooperazione”, who will present a method to rationalize the sourcing of materials and innovative construction methods. Much of his work revolves around using local waste materials for self-construction projects.



- Submissions at:  workshop.terraviva@gmail.com


- Location: Politecnico di Milano (Sede Leonardo)


- Credits:  4CFU (required attendance 2 Workshops)


- Facebook/Instagram Pages:  Workshop.Terraviva


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Our Soil, Our Commons,  Our Future

A new vision for Planetary Citizenship 


“Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty.

Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it”


From  Vedas Sanskrit Scripture

1500 BC


November2019 "The Urban Sponge IV", TerraViva  Workshop n°3, PoliMi  +  Earth Service  +  ECòL  + Chì-nà

February 2020 "Tactical Urbanism II", TerraViva Workshop n° 4, PoliMi  + Earth Service  +  Needle 

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