Since 2018, the Radical Co-authorship and Radical Harvest units at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) have investigated the reuse, repurposing and revaluing of waste materials. By foregrounding that which already exists, the units promote an alternative ethos and methodological approach whereby designers relinquish some control and embrace human and nonhuman others (including discarded/devalued objects) as co-designers. In the work of the unit, materials precede ideas, ecologies are given priority over intents, and creativity is understood to be partial, distributed, and collaborative.
Over the years, students have investigated a wide variety of materials and objects—glass and PET bottles, car exhausts, plastic bags, bike chains, human hair, coffee grounds, tires, old newspapers, rags, DVDs, fruit peels, juice cartons, weeds, timber pallets, corks, and so on.
To learn more about the pedagogy and philosophy associated with these studio briefs, see Ferracina, Simone. Ecologies of Inception: Design Potentials on a Warming Planet. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2022. Co-tutor: Asad Khan.