Year : 2019
Client : Rieder GmbH
Team : Tobias Nolte, Andrew Witt, Olivia Heung, James Yamada, Valentin Zellmer  

Construction and demolition waste accounts for more than half of all waste in the European Union. As part of a zero-waste initiative with Rieder GmbH, we developed a project called ScrapCrete that utilizes machine-vision technology to design new facades algorithmically generated from existing concrete scrap and fabrication offcuts. While historically drawings were developed as an instruction for fabrication, ScrapCrete inverts this process and uses already fabricated scrap pieces as the basis to generate a multiplicity of potential designs.

The project transforms irregular, non-uniform stocks of concrete scrap into new forms, finding beauty and intricacy in neglected waste. By combining the logic of the quilt with customized shape and pattern detection, ScrapCrete uses big data to tackle big waste. In effect, it creates a search engine for Scrap, and uses it to find custom material solutions. Through designing a product’s second, third, or fourth life into its manufacture, could we create not only minimum-waste material lifecycles, but circular ones that develop into a design vocabulary that is fundamentally informed by the availability of resources ?