Plastic is one of the most versatile and durable materials in the architecture and design industry. It has also infamously gained a bad reputation due to its harmful effects on the environment. The crux of the problem is how plastic is being used and managed.
Architecture and design firms are working round the clock to innovate, strategize and bring in modern methods to re-evaluate and revolutionize the role of plastic ethically and sustainably.
The firms are gearing towards designing advanced and durable building materials. There are approximately 45 different types of plastics, and each has flexible variables, most of which can be manipulated depending on the intended use.
Plastic is indispensable. In today’s modern society, many responsible architecture and design companies are altering the use of plastic in various ways to benefit themselves and the planet. Here are a few of them.
Plastic Used in a Circular Lifecycle
Companies are moving towards materials that have a circular lifecycle. Plastics that might end up in oceans and landfills are reused, repurposed, and recycled to create raw materials for industries, including architecture and design.
Plasticiet is one such raw material that was manufactured in the Netherlands in 2018. It is made out of entirely recycled materials like polystyrene or polycarbonate. Every panel created has a circular lifespan so that nothing is wasted and can be produced in large volumes.
Plastic as an Unconventional Building Material for Design
Architects around the world are encouraging the use of plastic as a more innovative way to build. Everyday household plastic waste that is mindlessly discarded can be transformed into construction materials that are affordable, durable, and sustainable.
Architects Peter van Assche of Bureau SLA, Reinder Bakker and Hester van Dijk of Overtreders W. are the masterminds of Pretty Plastic. Inspired by a circular economy, they wanted to use household plastic waste and develop a façade building material.
Their efforts were paid off, and they are now certified in cladding material. All their tile is made from plastic collected from neighboring sites before its sorted and shipped to Belgium, where it is transformed to be used in building permanent structures covered in shingles.
The New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture, SodaBIB uses innovative methods by taking discarded plastic bottles and transforming them into building shelters.
Plastic as Art in Architecture
Architects are using innovative designs to create art and bring awareness to communities by showcasing reused, recycled, and repurposed plastic projects.
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma rigged plastic boards to build a mobile tearoom in the shape of a cocoon. This structure made of cheap materials can be reassembled easily, making it easy to move around.
Plastic as Designer Fabric
The possibilities of plastic are endless. Recycled plastic, debris from the seas, bottles are thrown away can be transformed into durable upholstery fabric.
Camira is a brand that partnered up with Oceanic to create beautifully designed fabric with fantastic quality. Waste that would have otherwise ended up as ocean junk is now a designer fabric with multiple uses.
Today’s modern age cannot do without plastic, and the future depends on how this source is utilized. Architecture and design businesses are excited about the future. They want to take the plastic crisis as a challenge and come up with solutions that rethink the use of plastic in a modern and ethical way.
Architecture and design firms recognize the value of plastic and are leading by example. They are creating a buzz among the younger generation and potential employees to reconsider the use of plastic ingeniously while doing good for the planet at the same time.
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