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Basurama: a framework for designing collectively with waste

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Basurama: a framework for designing collectively with waste

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Basurama (trash-o-rama) is a non profit organization based in Spain that has been experimenting with different approaches to waste over the last decade. It has developed a framework to create projects that provide a better understanding of waste as a resource, and raise awareness of waste production. These projects take shape in many different ways, such as workshops, public art interventions, maps or data visualizations, and work with a wide range of stakeholders, ranging from neighborhood communities and local artists to municipal governments.

Across all the different kinds of projects, participant-users take active part in the search, selection of waste, as well as in the collaborative process of design and construction. Through practice, participants become aware of the implications of using waste as a source material: properties, availability, and transportation. The process changes the way designers and communities approach the design project, and provides a better way to understand how to work with what already exists, be it abandoned public space or leftover materials.

Among many other activities, Basurama’s practice has been centered on workshops, that last 2-4 weeks, to plan, research, design and construct. In that short period of time, Basuramas’s team connects with local agents to understand their needs and develop a site specific project. Local materials and techniques are used to enable the appropriation of the project by local actors and allow its replication. The proliferation of industrial waste, like car tires or pallets, allows the reproduction of these techniques across countries and certain reuse methods have been developed.

Due to the limitations of a short intervention and, in order to understand and provide this experience to others, we thought it was a good idea to analyze in detail how this process was. As a Basurama member I felt the need to extend this kind of reuse practices beyond the scope of our own projects and to conceptualize the work that had been done. These projects work both as a prototype and a ‘hands on’ method to train locals to build their own environments. This paper is an analysis of the 2-4 week long workshops that Basurama has been developing abroad. It will use as a case study the group of interventions in Latin America from the RUS project, specially RUS Lima.

We have found that to achieve environmentally responsible processes that reuse materials, it is fundamental to take into account the limitations and locations of materials and the qualities and possibilities of the selected space. That would be a bottom line for almost all reuse projects. However, to design and construct collectively and allow the appropriation of the project by local agents they must also be included in the project since the beginning, as a fundamental variable for the long term success.

Basurama (trash-o-rama) is a non profit organization based in Spain that has been experimenting with different approaches to waste over the last decade. It has developed a framework to create projects that provide a better understanding of waste as a resource, and raise awareness of waste production. These projects take shape in many different ways, such as workshops, public art interventions, maps or data visualizations, and work with a wide range of stakeholders, ranging from neighborhood communities and local artists to municipal governments.

Across all the different kinds of projects, participant-users take active part in the search, selection of waste, as well as in the collaborative process of design and construction. Through practice, participants become aware of the implications of using waste as a source material: properties, availability, and transportation. The process changes the way designers and communities approach the design project, and provides a better way to understand how to work with what already exists, be it abandoned public space or leftover materials.

Among many other activities, Basurama’s practice has been centered on workshops, that last 2-4 weeks, to plan, research, design and construct. In that short period of time, Basuramas’s team connects with local agents to understand their needs and develop a site specific project. Local materials and techniques are used to enable the appropriation of the project by local actors and allow its replication. The proliferation of industrial waste, like car tires or pallets, allows the reproduction of these techniques across countries and certain reuse methods have been developed.

Due to the limitations of a short intervention and, in order to understand and provide this experience to others, we thought it was a good idea to analyze in detail how this process was. As a Basurama member I felt the need to extend this kind of reuse practices beyond the scope of our own projects and to conceptualize the work that had been done. These projects work both as a prototype and a ‘hands on’ method to train locals to build their own environments. This paper is an analysis of the 2-4 week long workshops that Basurama has been developing abroad. It will use as a case study the group of interventions in Latin America from the RUS project, specially RUS Lima.

We have found that to achieve environmentally responsible processes that reuse materials, it is fundamental to take into account the limitations and locations of materials and the qualities and possibilities of the selected space. That would be a bottom line for almost all reuse projects. However, to design and construct collectively and allow the appropriation of the project by local agents they must also be included in the project since the beginning, as a fundamental variable for the long term success.

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Basurama: a framework for designing collectively with waste

  1. 1. April 3rd 2013 Cambridge, MA, USA. Cultural Agents Initiative Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Read full paper at http://basurama.org/txt/basurama-a-framework -for-designing-collectively-with-waste Basurama: a framework for designing collectively with waste Pablo Rey Mazón. Basurama. basurama.org Contents, unless noted, by Basurama under license: Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 3.0 Unported.
  2. 2. Matthias Kabel. CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
  3. 3. Establish a framework to work collectively with waste.
  4. 4. Basurama: a framework for designing collectively with waste April 3rd 2013 Pablo Rey Mazón. Basurama. Cultural Agents Initiative and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
  5. 5. Waste is a powerful affordable resource. Working collectively requires: Listening to the others needs Taking time, location, material constrains in account
  6. 6. Basura = trash ama = love -orama = wide view of Basurama = wide view of + love trash
  7. 7. 1. What is waste? 2. What can we do with waste? 3. How to work collaboratively with waste?
  8. 8. 1. What is waste? Natural resources that have been wasted.
  9. 9. Waste is a resource in the wrong place.
  10. 10. Things that have lost their name. “The process by which something is turned into trash can be described as a process of disqualification: things turn into trash when their service makes them lose the properties that described them as these or those things, and so on and so forth, and turn only into that "thingness", fluid and without attributes, that accumulates in trash tips and whose regeneration depends, we could say, on acquiring their lost properties again”. José Luis Pardo
  11. 11. Whatever is tagged as waste. #Waste
  12. 12. Whatever is tagged as waste. #Waste
  13. 13. Whatever is tagged as waste. #Waste
  14. 14. Whatever is tagged as waste. #Waste
  15. 15. Whatever is tagged as waste. #Waste
  16. 16. "Through the garbage collection system of Mexico City it is possible to make an accurate radiograph of the entire political system of the republic, its power relations, their corrupt situations, etc.." Héctor Castillo Berthier Waste is information.
  17. 17. "Through the garbage collection system of Mexico City it is possible to make an accurate radiograph of the entire political system of the republic, its power relations, their corrupt situations, etc.." Héctor Castillo Berthier Waste is information.
  18. 18. Recycling vs Upcycling/downcycling
  19. 19. Recycling vs Reduce Reuse Recovery Repair Rehabilitation
  20. 20. Waste is a relative concept. Waste doesn't exist. Waste has many scales/sizes/shapes.
  21. 21. Waste = People that work with waste
  22. 22. Waste picker, Cambridge MA, 2010
  23. 23. 1. What is waste? 2. What can we do with waste? 3. Working collaboratively with waste?
  24. 24. 2. What can we do with waste? A. Analyze + Visualize B. Reuse
  25. 25. A. Analyze + Visualize Multimedia approach: from objects to landscape Trash Safari. Madrid, 2005
  26. 26. You are what you throw away. Benicassim, Spain. 2007
  27. 27. You are what you throw away. Benicassim, 2007 with Iris Giménez Gil
  28. 28. Waste Packaging Index. Berlin, 2012 with Dietmar Offenhuber
  29. 29. Packaging Waste Packaging Index (WPI) = Total Weight of the product Waste Packaging Index. Berlin, 2012
  30. 30. Waste Packaging Index. Berlin, 2012
  31. 31. How to visualize Madrid's Big Dig? I ♥ M30. Madrid 2006 (Yo amo M30, with Areaciega and Sauro Pixels
  32. 32. Video trailer YO amo M30 http://youtu.be/hCpepJFR8rE I ♥ M30. Madrid 2006
  33. 33. I ♥ M30. Madrid 2006
  34. 34. I ♥ M30. Madrid 2006. Video trailer 2 http://youtu.be/n7Y48k8TrV8
  35. 35. 6000km.org. 2006-2012
  36. 36. Urb. Francisco Hernández. Seseña, Toledo. Ciduad de Valdeluz. Guadalajara, Spain.
  37. 37. 6000km.org + meipi.org/6000km 2006-2011
  38. 38. 6000km.org 2006-2011
  39. 39. PAU Ensanche de Vallecas.
  40. 40. PAU Ensanche de Vallecas.
  41. 41. PAU Ensanche de Vallecas. 2013
  42. 42. PAU Ensanche de Vallecas. 2013
  43. 43. PAU Ensanche de Vallecas.
  44. 44. Weymouth. MA. USA
  45. 45. http://mapknitter.org/maps/saugus-incinerator-landfill
  46. 46. http://basurama.org/transtrash/2011/10/19/saugus-ash-landfill-map/
  47. 47. http://basurama.org/transtrash/
  48. 48. http://meipi.org/cambridgewaste
  49. 49. B. Reuse Reusing materials and public space
  50. 50. Juego Chachi. Leandro Lattes. 2005
  51. 51. Juego Chachi. Leandro Lattes. 2005
  52. 52. Spermöla = Yard sale in public space Spermöla 2004, 2005, 2006
  53. 53. Spermöla 2004, 2005, 2006
  54. 54. Free Shop. Manresa, Spain. 2010
  55. 55. Free Shop. Manresa, Spain. 2010
  56. 56. 3. Working collaboratively with waste?
  57. 57. RUS RESIDUOS URBANOS SÓLIDOS URBAN SOLID WASTE
  58. 58. RUS A series of chained projects developed by Basurama and the local cultural-social collaborators of every iteration of the project. Every time the project ended with an action or intervention in the public space, usually degraded, and was centered in working urban waste (Basurama 2011). Funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) through the Red de Centros Culturales de la Cooperación Española in Latin America.
  59. 59. Timeline of a RUS project 1. Research trip -Materials -Techniques and tools -Intervention spaces -Urban conflicts -Contact local agents: artists, neighbors, municipality. 2. Review information and pre-design -Establish a local main collaborator 3. Intervention trip -Production: materials, tools. -Design and co-design: iterations depending on negotiations, materials and actors -Construction: Workshop and prototype with locals -Action/intervention/installation -Unmount.
  60. 60. RUS is based on: -Reactivation of public space -Local community -Waste -Reuse
  61. 61. Public Space -In danger/threaten -Inadequate or poor maintenance -Privatization -Lack of use -Abandondment
  62. 62. Local Community -Wide range of stakeholders -Different involvement: punctual support to full Involvement
  63. 63. Waste -Source of information -Low cost -Location: harvest map -Value vs Price
  64. 64. Reuse Ubiquity of industrialized products
  65. 65. RUS Asunción. Paraguay. 2008 with Sonia Carísimo and Francisco Tomboly
  66. 66. RUS Asunción. Paraguay. 2008 with Sonia Carísimo and Francisco Tomboly
  67. 67. RUS Asunción + Varsaw 2010
  68. 68. Varsaw 2010
  69. 69. RUS Buenos Aires. Todos somos cartoneros (We are all waste pickers) 2009
  70. 70. RUS Buenos Aires. Guide to create cooperatives. With Eloisa Cartonera.
  71. 71. RUS Buenos Aires. Guide to create cooperatives. With Eloisa Cartonera.
  72. 72. La ciudad de los niños. Cabanyal, Valencia (2009) with Arquitectura se mueve.
  73. 73. RUS Córdoba. Tejedoras Urbanas (Urban knitters) (2009) with Quinua Photos: Quinua
  74. 74. RUS Córdoba. Tejedoras Urbanas (Urban knitters) (2009) with Quinua
  75. 75. Video: Juan Andres Mancuello http://youtu.be/v3uM1cNpOMc
  76. 76. RUS Córdoba. Tejedoras Urbanas (Urban knitters) (2009) with Quinua
  77. 77. RUS Mexico City. 2008
  78. 78. Car Tires
  79. 79. RUS LIMA SELF MADE AMUSEMENT “GHOST TRAIN” PARK
  80. 80. Initial research
  81. 81. Harvest map
  82. 82. Uncompleted Metropolitan railway. Foto: Sara Fernández Deustch
  83. 83. “El Tren fantasma” (ghost train) -Elevated metropolitan railway project -Started construction in 1986 -Opened 10km in 1990. -For 20 years abandoned elevated infrastructure. -Promised public transportation system that never arrived.
  84. 84. Collaborators -Christians Luna (visual artist) -Sandra Nakamura (visual artist) -Camila Bustamante (graphic designer) -El Cartón (architecture students collective) -C.H.O.L.O. (artist collective based on Lima suburbs) -El Cartón (architecture students collective) -Playstationvagon (graffiti writers/urban artists) -El Codo (graffiti writer/urban artist) -Motivando Corazones collective (non profit organization) -María Pía Raschio and Diego Alonso -Rossell (artist) -Local group of boy scouts -Surquillo District Municipality
  85. 85. RUS Lima, Peru. 2010
  86. 86. RUS Lima, Peru. 2010
  87. 87. Aucahuasi. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tren_Eléctrico_viaducto_inconcluso.jpg
  88. 88. C.H.O.L.O.
  89. 89. Parque Autoarmable (Self made playground) “Nueva Esperanza” in Pachacutec, Ventanilla. Developed by C.H.O.L.O., Christians Luna y the community of sector C1 de Pachacutec Photos: C.H.O.L.O.
  90. 90. Parque Autoarmable Nueva Esperanza. Lima Photos: C.H.O.L.O.
  91. 91. … and now, what's going on in Basurama?
  92. 92. Long term involvement. Autobarrios. San Cristobal de los Ángeles, Madrid. 2013
  93. 93. Real estate bubble in São Paulo. Brazil. 2013

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