The exhibition “Lifecycle Design” is now up in the lobby of Gund Hall, Graduate School of Design. The exhibition aims to expand the conversation about energy consumption beyond building efficiency to “embodied energy, CO2 and other associated impacts.” Martin Bechthold, Professor of Architectural Technology, organized the exhibition consisting of research and course work from last fall’s course GSD9112 Lifecycle Design.
The exhibition shows materials from the GSD Materials Collection along with three wall graphics, a slideshow of three student projects and images from the class’s field trip to Taiwan in September 2011.
The thesis posed is that buildings and building products “need to be rethought such that they allow for closed material cycles through re-use, reclamation, and recycling.” This challenge to “re-strategize design” is answered by three student groups who have detailed future products that are “proposed from and for the recycling stream.” One group designed a sound diffuser out of recycled wood pallets, another, fiber tiles from compressed wood fiber, and another “bubble board” made from reused PCB from E-waste.
The exhibition asks “will design for disassembly become the new norm for construction detailing?” The delamination of complex contemporary construction materials makes disassembly even more difficult. Images from the Taiwan field trip to a plastic pellet production plant, a blow molding facility, and an E-waste recycling facility provide a partial answer. Materials from the GSD Materials Collection show other possibilities. On display are:
Bio-luminum, a recyclable aluminum material made from reclaimed aircraft parts.
Kirei board, an interior finish panel composed of reclaimed agricultural fiber. The composite panels consist of sorghum plant stalks that are by-product of the edible part of the plant.
Eluna, a 100% recycled glass made from bottles as well as less common sources such as test tubes, TV and computer screens, and car side windows.
EcoCradle is a 100% compostable and biodegradable packaging material made from seed husks and mushroom filaments. Seed husk substrates are agricultural byproducts including buckwheat hulls, rice hulls, and cotton burrs.
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Accompanying the exhibition are three wall charts: Material production & C02 emissions in the U.S. which shows aluminum, plastic, etc., U.S. Material Consumption by Sector which is mapped with U.S. population growth and shows construction materials far outpacing other consumption sectors, and Material Recycling and CO2 Savings- all of which make an argument for the next design challenge of working with material lifecycles.
Research and exhibition design: Anthony Kane with Matan Mayer
Graphic Design: Aurgho Jyoti
Sponsored by the Design Robotics Group