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Reclaiming Economies

Origami Shutter 4.0. Stephan, T. Unit 17. 2020.

Tyron Stephan



Gregory Katz, Nico van Loggerenberg




Reclaiming Economies is an investigation and process of discovery into the informal waste systems in Johannesburg. The use of scale was empirical to finding new ways of thinking through the micro lens of waste materials in order to find answers for the macro scale of the economy.

A hands-on approach of thinking through making in innovating waste is used to enrich the process of developing a proposed intervention that aims to improve the lives of the reclaimers who are solely responsible for the majority of the recycling systems success.
This is currently a very important topic in the world as waste needs to be reduced and governments are looking for new and innovative ways to do this, I think it is important that the reclaimers who contribute the most to this should have a much bigger role and reward to gain from the system.

The idea of the project affects everyone in society as it requires a systemic shift in the way we think and use products or materials especially when we as architects are designing and specifying materials for our buildings.

The most useful outcome of this project is the awareness of materials and how to become more conscious about the waste we produce but more importantly the waste which may be created through the future architectural projects we engage in and how we could minimise our impact.
The project is the first stepping stone in uncovering some of the complexities which exist in the waste ecosystem and the aim was to look at different scales of this ecosystem in order to solve problems in the big picture.