A recent article by Stateline, a nonprofit news service that reports on state policy, says that deconstruction could be a viable source of jobs and building materials in cities with aging downtowns like Baltimore or Portland. The article follows Brick + Board and Details Deconstruction, two Baltimore nonprofits trying to create a viable business model out of taking apart derelict structures and reselling the materials for new construction projects around the country. The concept relies on the appeal of reclaimed materials, usually for rusticized finishes. Both groups also hire and train released convicts in the hopes of preparing them for other jobs in the construction industry. As the article describes, these and similar initiatives have encountered a tough road to success. It's much cheaper to demolish buildings, as opposed to taking them apart piece by piece, and many structures don't offer the kind of charming materials customers are looking for. Still, the idea has potential for cities that are struggling with both abandonment and unemployment. Rust belt cities like Detroit have hundreds of empty homes that are both eyesores and public safety hazards, and such cities have large populations of unskilled workers in need of employment. Deconstruction initiatives could kill two birds with one stone—the trick is just getting the financial side to work. For designers concerned with building waste and sustainability, groups like Brick + Board offer materials with positive social narratives and visual appeal. Check out the original article for more information on resources in your area.
Posts tagged with "Reclaimed Materials":
A social enterprise’s first mobile food entity uses design, mechanics, and hospitality to benefit incarcerated youths.As the food truck craze continues to gain speed, it was only a matter of time before Brooklyn-based Situ Studio—one of the country’s premier design/build outfits—was tasked with creating a kitchen on wheels. But their opportunity to design and fabricate was not for just another rolling burger joint or mobile ice cream stand. The recently completed Snowday is the first food truck from Drive Change, a social enterprise that trains previously incarcerated youths to operate and manage roving restaurants. Situ Studio and Fabrication’s co-founder and partner Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny said client Jordyn Lexton, Drive Change’s founder, had a strong vision for the program. Her business model calls for locally sourced ingredient themed menus. Snowday’s ingredient is Grade A maple syrup harvested in upstate New York. To relay the image of a cabin in the woods where one might refine the tree sap, she envisioned a raw, natural facade that was both organic and industrial. Lukyanov-Cherny said designing a skin for a moving unit—in this case a former Con Edison vehicle—was challenging new territory. “When we started thinking of the project, we thought of a three dimensional, articulated facade,” he said. However, instead of complying with building codes the Situ team learned Transit Authority regulations, and how they could customize the appearance while fitting in the required envelope, in addition to practical matters like height restrictions, wear, and repair issues. In other words, an extended cantilever would not be reasonable for zipping through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. The facade also had to accommodate food service needs. The truck’s interior was gutted and retrofitted with an industrial, stainless steel kitchen by Shanghai Mobile Kitchen Solution, and a service component that extends to the truck’s exterior. So in addition to ease of repairs, the modular facade system had to adapt to both punctuated and continuous surfaces. “We wanted a flexible construction system that let you develop the facade for one application or another, that could be transformed for a building, or more architectural structure,” explained Lukyanov-Cherny. Situ Studio used Rhino to design a bespoke snowflake pattern for the truck, which supported Lexton’s brand visualization. The team chose reclaimed lumber as a material, both for its down-home aesthetic as well as its lightness. Planks of redwood and cedar with naturally worn patinas achieved variances in color without any additional treatment and a natural seal. Each plank was planed to 1 inch in thickness, so three layers made up a 3-inch additional depth on either side of the truck. To drive home the branding message, the truck’s name was laser cut from 1/4-inch stainless steel and backlit with LEDs. Each board was applied with stainless steel anchor points. Though it was not Situ Fabricataion’s first project for a non-profit organization, it was their first food truck and Lukyanov-Cherny said he looks forward to building more mobile units in the future. “We like to work with non profits because they’re open to new ideas, design, and approaches, which is so important to those companies,” he told AN. “A visionary client like this is inspiring to us.”
Reclaim NYC, the grassroots organization established for post-Hurricane Sandy relief in the design community, will hold its second furniture exhibition and charity sale during New York Design Week from May 16 to 18 at 446 Broadway, a 5,000-square-foot gallery in the heart of Soho. All event proceeds will go to local communities affected by Hurricane Sandy via the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, a sub sect of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. Founded in 2012 by Jennifer Krichels and Jean Lin, both design writers, editors, and enthusiasts, Krichels recalled her “ah-ha” moment in the aftermath of the storm recently for AN. “While running in Prospect Park I noticed all the [fallen] trees being chopped up, and had an idea to reuse some of the wood—there was so much!” Collaborating on the details with Lin, the duo said participation from the design community quickly gained momentum and the first Reclaim NYC event was orchestrated in approximately one month. The December 2012 show featured more than 30 designers’ work with reclaimed lumber and various interpretations of reused storm debris. “It turned into a way to represent something positive and return the proceeds raised [to those in need], some of whom were designers.” Six months later, many parts of New York have rebounded from the storm’s damage—but not all of them. Many parts of southern Brooklyn and the Rockaways have yet to begin rebuilding after the storm and are still in need of substantial aid. There have been accounts that FEMA will need to spend at least five years in New York to oversee a full recovery, similar to efforts in New Orleans necessitated by Hurricane Katrina. “It’s no longer a hot topic but [aid] is still really important,” Lin said. “People are still affected by it everyday.” For the second iteration of Reclaim NYC, Krichels and Lin called upon designers to create pieces inspired by the idea of collaboration. A roster of 25 teams was organized to arrange established designers with emerging voices, or group designers from varying backgrounds for an opportunity to share their areas of expertise in a new way. One team that will show at Reclaim NYC is comprised of furniture designers, a biophysicist, and musicians. Together, they designed a wooden table treated with a wood-eating enzyme that etched a pattern into the table’s surface, guided by sound vibrations. “This collaboration encapsulates exactly what we hoped would happen at the show: To bring out real design,” Lin said. With two exhibitions under their belts, Krichels and Lin hope Reclaim NYC is able to move beyond the realm of charity and evolve with the community’s needs to integrate design, education, and mentorship for younger designers, as well as foster opportunities for the design community as a whole. “[We hope] to build something not based in commerce but in collective opportunities to show what the design community can do when it works together.” “Making Reclaim NYC into a charitable outlet and a charitable incubator has come out of conversations with friends and designers, to fit a sustainable model,” Lin added. “As editors and design lovers, we cherish what they’re bringing to the table.” Reclaim NYC will open on May 16 at 12:00 pm and run through May 18, closing at 1:00 pm. A presale of featured items will launch on Monday, May 13 on shop.lin-morris.com, and at60inches.com, an event supporter. A complete list of featured design teams is as follows: Lindsey Adelman x Nancy Callan Brad Ascalon x Naula Workshop Kevin Michael Burns x Adam Pellecchia Colleen and Eric x Leo Hubbard x Benjamin Cameron Dana D'Amico x KWH Joe Doucet e13 x Sciencewerk x Zach Klein x Ike Edeani Egg Collective x Hangar Design Studios Allison Goding x Jerry Nance Grain x Emilie Baltz Stéphane Hubert Design x Sean Brewer Asher Israelow x Wyn Bauer Ladies & Gentlemen Studio x Nicholas Nyland smck studio x d’emploi Daniel Moyer x FilzFelt x submaterial Brendan Mullins x Kreh Mellick Marius Myking x Vidar Koksvik RUX x Stickbulb x David G. Flatt Ltd. Scout Regalia x Reunion Sit and Read x Noah Lambert Souda x Sure We Can Jonah Takagi x Mark Supik & Co. Token x Uhuru UM Project x Baggu VOLK x Dressed in Yellow To learn more about Reclaim NYC, visit reclaimnyc.org, or follow their Facebook page for the latest news.
To benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy, New York City designers are hosting a furniture auction, selling pieces made from the storm’s reclaimed materials. The silent auction, Reclaim NYC, is organized by AN alumna Jennifer Krichels Gorsche, writer Jean Lin, and designer Brad Ascalon will sell the work of more than twenty artists who have all pledged to donate proceeds to the American Red Cross in Greater New York. The pieces range from tables and chairs to lighting fixtures to art objects. Some designers have even represented themes of the storm and flooding in their work and will continue to include these themes in upcoming work. Reclaim NYC will take place on December 19 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Ligne Roset’s SoHo showroom, located at 155 Wooster Street. Participating Designers as of December 4, 2012:
|Lindsey Adelman Brad Ascalon Dror Benshetrit Bittersweets Elodie Blanchard Bec Brittain Kevin Michael Burns Evan Clabots DMFD Joe Doucet Fort Standard Dan Golden||Danny Greenfield Stephane Hubert Brian McGowan Kiel Mead Daniel Moyer Brendan Mullins Shannon South Suzanne Tick Uhuru UM Project Alex Valich VOLK Furniture|