Tag Archives: Patchwork

Happy 2010! / Dwell-rethinking recycling

First of all, Patchwork would like to wish everyone a happy 2011! Yes, we are a few days/weeks belated, but nevertheless, we’d still like to wish everyone a happy new year. We’ve come a long way since our launch earlier in 2010, so we hope you’re still following us with the same vigor since the first time you heard about us. Jimmy and Cameron have just finished their thesis work at Syracuse University, which consumed plenty of their time and energy this past fall, and they’re beginning to regroup and stretch their aspirations for Patchwork once again.

So for the first post of the new year, it was appropriate we bring to your attention the newest issue of Dwell Magazine, a publication which many of you might already be familiar with one way or another. We recommend checking it out everynow and then at your nearest bookstore when you have a chance.

image courtesy of dwell.com

If you may have thought we were trying to think up something revolutionary here at Patchwork Collective, well, you can think again. Just one look at Dwell’s cover will tell you that recycling/salvaging our collective waste to be used again in our built environment, has officially made it into mainstream culture. Dwell Magazine this month has spotlighted several projects, architects, and designers from around the country that have come to the realization that this resourcefulness in the design of our built environment is turning out to be a necessity, and it just so happens that it also saves money as an added bonus! There are now plenty of architects/designers out there doing exactly what we’ve been doing: thinking about our waste streams in a new light. We’re not saying it has become pop-culture yet, but there is so much more worth to using materials that have a story, a narrative that can inspire curiousity just by its tangibility. That’s what we get excited about here at Patchwork. Our creativity and inventiveness to reestablish/repurpose new lives and new narratives for these salvaged materials we would typically be sending to our landfills is what drives us.

There is no doubt, we are definitely starting to see more and more news stories everyday that are coming out of the design industry recognizing the importance of this industry, revealing the real opportunities that are starting to be realized by tinkerers, creative individuals, and entreprenuers like us. Being a part of this young industry is what keeps us optimistic that someday it will eventually become commonplace to rethink how materials can be given another life, reinvesting that value back into our communities. Instead of sending this salvaged material to build a new topographic eyesore (landfills), let’s use it to rebuild our existing topographies: our civic spaces, homes, streets, and communities we already take for granted. Let’s lay a strong foundation for the new generations, new reiterations of ideas, and different methodologies of designed recycling to see this very young industry thrive.

Oakland Ave. light-skim-thru

Today Patchwork met up with Greg Wright who does a great service for Habitat for Humanity’s Restore in Syracuse, NY. We met with him in the morning to finish “skimming-through” one of the last remaining houses on Oakland Ave. near ESF’s campus. To those of you who have heard, (and those of you who haven’t) the demise of this series of homes was quite controversial. Wanting to expand its living quarter capacity, ESF was faced with a very tough decision over how to take down this street of homes to make room for its planned expansion. We’re sure it was only after much deliberation and calculation that it was decided in the end it would be more “economical” to just bulldoze the properties after a light skim through allowed ReStore and other organizations to come in and salvage a minimal amount of materials. The amount of “old-growth” lumber in these properties that will now go to waste is said to be at quite a large amount (which was an extra punch-in-the-gut for proponents like us of reuse, deconstruction, historical values).

We’re happy to have taken part in the minimal amount of work that was able to have been done on this last house of Oakland Ave. Thanks Greg and Dr. John Felleman for the experience. Hope everyone has a great July 4th holiday!