“Superusing available flows and resources and connecting them into urban ecosystems.”
This Dutch architecture and design firm were recently featured on the Guardian architecture blog, linked to their current exhibition: InsideFlows: The Superuse Approach to Design is on show at the Architecture Foundation, London SE1 2TU, until 31 July.
“Superusing” is a very similar concept to “Upcycling”, where the basic idea is to turn waste into something more valuable/useful. By comparison, recycling generally ‘downgrades’ something first – ie, melting a bottle down, re-pulping paper etc.
Without getting stuck into definitions, Superuse Studios have certainly taken up this challenge of ‘connecting waste flows’ to new usages with gusto. What does this mean in practice? One example given is the collection of coffee grounds from cafes, which is then used as a perfect mushroom growing medium. (A short video of this process in the article linked below)
“Beginning with a Rotterdam nightclub, which incorporated aeroplane seats and benches made from car tyres, they moved on to build an entire house out of reclaimed materials, (the picture seen above) with a steel frame made from redundant textiles machinery, clad in timber salvaged from cable reels.”
Importantly, perhaps the main problem they identify is being able to find these potentially useful ‘waste flows’ in the first place; unsurprisingly, if someone considers it to be waste, they generally want rid of it with as little trouble as possible.
Can you think of anything that needs ‘superusing’ around here? Don’t forget to subscribe.
(And don’t forget to have a good weekend! ;o)