This platform is concerned with the exploration and adaptation of matter that can be considered, outdated, redundant or obsolete: material that has lost its value, resources that are considered waste, stuff that is considered expendable has been discarded and is considered surplus. These processes of depredation may have been enacted through economic, value-based processes, or by extraordinary one-off means such as fire, flood and devastation. All situations have in common the proposition that an obsolete environment or element, is not only a site of depredation, it is a condition for mediation, and the site of the enactment of research and design processes that will ensure that meaningful change through reuse will take place. Reuse participants are obsessed with adapting the unwanted, the discarded and the no longer fit-for-purpose. They are fascinated with determining new life in objects and spaces that are often considered to be spoil.
This year we have been working on a ruin, Nettleham Hall Lincoln, with Witherford Watson Mann. The project required its participants to explore and address fundamental issues of value in the existing. Starting points were intuition, atmosphere and value judgements with regards to the ruin. Ruins are the waste of systems of power, economics, culture. Reusers absorb and channel this material for their transformation. We can be nostalgic and we may lust but the ruin must always provoke us into action in order to determine its future(s).
with Chris Watson + Graham Mateer from WWM
Image by Zhang Yuzheng