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

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

TerraViva Competitions

Recently created as a new branch of "TerraViva", this specific section proposes a series of design competitions in line with the topics addressed by our workshops and mainly directed to architecture students, new graduates and young designers.

TACTICAL URBANISM NOW! The Reappropriation of Public Space will be the first competition of 2020. Starting from June 15th, registrations will be open until November 29th.



May 16th   "Milano Arch Week"

11:00 am - 7:00 pm Digital Marathon with a series of online Open Lectures by:  Petra Blaisse (Biblioteca degli Alberi); Peter Eisenman (Residenze Carlo Erba); Bjarke Ingels (CityLife); Rem Koolhaas (Fondazione Prada); Daniel Libeskind (CityLife); Patrik Schumacher – Zaha Hadid Architects (City Life); Kazuyo Sejima – SANAA (Campus Bocconi).


May 25th  "Milano Digital Week"

Online Edition | 25/05 - 30/05


June 5th  "Il Futuro degli Spazi Pubblici", 6:00 pm | Open Lecture




July 1st  "Tactical Urbanism Now! - The Reappropriation of Public Space" | TerraViva Competition #1

"Early" Registration Open from 15/06/2020 to  15/09/2020


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  General Information  


Recent Updates:

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, TerraViva Workshop has postponed all the programmed activities until January 1st 2021

Didactic ProgramDirector:

Richard Ingersoll

Scientific Coordination and Organization:

Eugenia Bolla

Stefano Lardera

Teaching Assistants:

Toufic Rifai

Matteo Pettinaroli

Omar Rota