So, today is 4.2 portfolio deadline day, wish me luck. I will upload the full portfolio section soon. I thought this would be a good time to fully explain the previous ‘Creature/Feature’ project, my concepts, solutions and conclusions.
The brief was to design a building which contains both a workshop & a place of exchange but must incorporate both static and animate parts.
I looked at the problem of e-waste as a program driver. In the contemporary tech-driven digital culture in which we now live, and as electronics, gadgets and technology becomes cheaper and more of a ‘throwaway’ culture, e-waste is becoming a real problem. As a new issue, ways in handling obsolete and discarded tech is unprecedented within society, so we tend to just hang onto stuff, throw an 8 year old phone into a draw full of other phones which will never be used again, store the old computer in the attic ‘just in case’, it’s bizarre.
In fact, technology contains locked in asset value. Circuitry contains gold, silver, copper and rare earth elements (REE) which all have a relatively high value. Compared with the value of rock locked in a gold mine: For every 1 ton of rock in a gold mine, 5g of gold is mined. In the same weight of mobile phones there is 200g of gold, 3kg of silver and 100kg of copper!
This data research is the driver behind my building which focusses itself on the [de]programming and [re]programming of obsolete e-waste. With enough storage to house the number of phones registered to UK networks in 2011 the urban mine will harvest precious metals from phones as well as recycling the plastic housing for a sculpture and furniture workshop. Electronic components (complete) are also harvested for use in the creature; a travelling educational facility teaching children as part of a curriculum robotics, basic electronics and programming (through the use of the open source Arduino community).
The building is expected to make £94M per annum, not including any sold plastic sculpture. All in all - a great success.