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10.16.17 – Designing for e-waste: Mason White explores architectural possibilities in exhibit at the Seoul Biennale

Associate Professor Mason White was recently interviewed by urbanNext on Lateral Office’s participation in the inaugural Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. Lateral Office's contribution to the Biennale titled States of Disassembly envisioned seven architectural typologies for a techno-commons that would manage our electronic waste stream.

“We were given the theme of recycling, which is interesting because it sounds like a very functional, utilitarian thematic, but there are people, labour, and architectural possibilities within recycling,” said White in the interview with urbanNext. ‘We wanted to look at e-waste’s geopolitics and material politics because the future of waste will be mining precious materials that are embedded in discarded products."

The seven architectural typologies were represented in an axonometric drawing. Each type illustrated is involved in upcycling discarded technology: a port for e-waste, a campus for knowledge exchange, an electronics market, and other building types or public spaces that might exist once we better incorporate the end-of-life materials into our economy.

Our culture currently celebrates the assembly of products, but the un-making, the disassembly will be part of our future, says White. The earth has a finite resource for these precious materials, so eventually we will have to explore urban mining to continue the use of these resources.

Daniels Faculty students Kearon Roy Taylor, Genevieve Simms, and Brandon Bergem, assisted Lateral Office with research and work on the States of Dissassembly exhibit.

View the full interview on Vimeo.