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University of Johannesburg


Senzo Mamba comments that: “In the natural world, there is no landfill, instead [there is] material flow. One species’ waste is another’s food. Things grow and die; nutrients return to the soil safely. The cycle circulates. Contrary, as humans we have adopted a linear approach; we extract, we make, we use, and we dispose.”

Mamba’s thesis, entitled ‘Bricolage: The architecture of waste’, proposes to turn vacant buildings into recycling factories as an alternative way to deal with waste issues within our cities. Processing materials on-site will reduce energy consumption, transportation and the carbon footprint.

This project aims to rethink waste by designing a catalogue of new material from it. Waste is not only a local resource, but a natural material for practices of bricolage. Bricolage is the theory of making do with available tools and material. “Reclaiming, repurposing and retrofitting vacant buildings is the first step towards a sustainable future,” comments Mamba.

The architecture of waste

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