Plasti-city : reframing the perceived value of plastic waste
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Citation:Bowden, J. (2019). Plasti-city : reframing the perceived value of plastic waste. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4855
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4855
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can a transformational urban journey reframe the perceived value of plastic waste? ABSTRACT: It would be hard to imagine modern life without plastics. In the last half-century, we have seen them replace many other materials due to their cheap, lightweight, and durable properties. Acknowledging consumption is an essential component of a functioning economy; it is equally important that architects identify effective solutions to the waste consumption generates. Plastic waste and environmental pollution can affect us, willingly, or not. This study seeks to identify an architectural response to New Zealand’s growing problem of plastic waste. Drawing on a body of literature, the research has identified current waste management systems, material flows, behaviour patterns, and their encompassing economic systems. The study examines a practical approach to recycling through key case studies and then investigates how a selection of architectural projects has generated interest in waste treatment processes that are typically concealed. The project questions the role of architects and their responsibility to support collaboration of people, technology, and materials through creative spaces. The design attempts to ‘glorify’ key stages of the recycling process through a sculptural form, exposing a network that is typically concealed, and challenges perceptions of how waste ‘goes away’. Visual exposure is a central consideration for the project, and it will be explored by manipulating the traditional shed-like typology of a recycling facility and investigating its placement within the urban realm. The programme has been developed to create an opportunity for visitors to experience the transformational journey of waste plastics back into valued commodities. The aim of this research project is to establish a high level of transparency to help alleviate negative connotations around post-use plastics as ‘waste’.