The role of capitalism and the state in conceptualizing future life scenarios

Conceptualizing future scenarios largely depends on people’s perspective on capitalism and the role of the state: one section sees no relation to the state as is now and the corporate structures that influence politics and policies. [anarchist thinkers like Bookchin and eco-socialists]. The other looks into the economics of the commons or the planetary boundaries and therefore rely on the state to provide with structures to support green investments and regulations related to decreasing carbon emissions and welfare provision. Great read.

Futures | Architecture after Architecture: Spatial Practice in the Face of the Climate Emergency

Architectural Education in Times of Uncertainty’ Symposium, 2-4/11, BK, Berlage Rooms

Want to talk with us on the current challenges of architecture and how these are affecting architectural education? Join us from 2-4 November, live here in Delft for the ‘Architectural Education in Times of Uncertainty’ Symposium. The event unfolds over three days with discussions on the integration of circularity in current curricula, new types of collaboration, transitions in pedagogy and learning in extreme complexity with an amazing line up. For more information and registrations please visit our website.

New publication!

I couldn’t be prouder of my dear friend Markus Berger who -together with his colleague Kate Irvin – has compiled this amazing book I am holding in my hands right now. I am most grateful for having been entrusted to contribute with a chapter on repair and architecture. I had so much fun studying for it and writing it and I am delighted my piece found its place in this volume amongst so many interesting contributions.
Learn more about this book here

#circularity #circularbuiltenvironment #circulareconomy #repair #architecture #circulardesign

New platforms on circularity launched!

Here are the links to two new online platforms we launched recently. The first one is called ‘Circularity for Educators’ and contains a series of different types of resources that can support teaching based on the way we have currently framed this in our education. The second, is called ‘Educators for Circularity’ and is complementary to the first one. It provides with an opportunity to connect to colleagues, exchange views on topics related to circularity and/or share insights from teaching. It is also meant as tools for creating new opportunities for collaboration within a wider community of people (academics or not) who are in one way or another involved in circular ventures.

Click here for ‘Circularity for Educators’

https://www.tudelft.nl/…/educ…/circularity-for-educators

Click here for ‘Educators for Circularity’

Our Summer School Video is now available!

During our Summer School sessions, our Dr. Bucky Lab, (aka Marcel Bilow) was silently circling the room with his equipment and was discretely filming our event. And now, he put together an amazing video that captures the energy in the room, while offering a comprehensive outlook of what went on in our sessions. Our first Summer School on Circularity in the Built Environment may be over, but thanks to this we will hold on to the event for much longer!

credits: Marcel Bilow

#BKTUDelft #circularityinthebuiltenvrionment #CBEHub #circularity #circulareconomy

Summer School on Circularity in the Built Environment now completed!

After months working on the ‘Scales to Aspects’ diagram, we were finally able to put it to test. From Sunday, July 10 to Tuesday, July 12 we held a Summer School on Circularity in the Built Environment here at TU Delft. We used Binckhorst as a case study, a post industrial area in the Hague currently transitioning to a residential/commercial area.

So, how can we achieve a circular transition? Is it just by using circular building products or circular building practices for the new buildings? Or do we also need to consider how pushing the industry away from the city will affect our circular goals? Where will all necessary materials come from? And what would be the role(s) of the local citizens?

The ‘Scales to Aspects’ model developed here by the CBE Hub was scrutinized by forty participants from all over the world using the input of twelve guest lecturers and the CBE Hub group; four new visions were created for a more circular transition for Binckhorst based on its specific context. In the following months we’ll study the results of what has been an amazing experience for all of us here at BK TU Delft and we’ll make sure to keep this conversation going. A big thanks to everyone who helped make this possible.

#circularity #circularbuiltenvironment @BKTUDelft #summerschool

Closing the Knowledge Gap on Circularity: the CBE Hub Lifelong Education Programs 

Can academia provide society with a safe space for developing imaginaries and socially performing alternative political futures? Can it help reconnect the many knowledge domains that appear now to be dispersed and fragmented? And what is the role of adult learning in achieving this transition and in dealing with complex issues such as sustainability? Check our CLIMA2022 contribution for the section on Education co-authored with @TillmannKlein here: https://proceedings.open.tudelft.nl/clima2022/article/view/215

The conference format was hybrid, you can check all presentations online https://clima2022.org/

#circularity #circulareconomy #clima2022 #lifelonglearning #adultlearning #professionaleducation

Summer School on Circularity in the built environment | Mark the dates: July 10-12 @TU Delft

We at the Circular Built Environment Hub (CBE Hub) of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, at TU Delft are happy to announce the new dates for our Summer School on Circularity in the Built Environment. The event will take place July 10-12 (Sunday to Tuesday) in Delft.

The topic of scales remains our main focus: for the past year we have worked extensively with our group to determine how circularity manifests at different scales and how the scales interrelate. We look forward to sharing this input with you and to getting your feedback.

An amazing line up of colleagues and guests will give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of the theoretical aspects of circularity and circular economy and to learn from current examples from practice and our research. Our definitive program will be uploaded shortly on our website. We will also be visiting Binckhorst, a district in the Hague that aspires to become an exemplary circular redevelopment for South Holland with mixed residential-commercial and industrial uses. We will use this district as a case study to contextualize our discourse.

Students from all levels of education (BSc, MSc) as well as PhD researchers and professionals are welcome to participate. Only limited spots are available.

Stay tuned for more information or visit our website

Review on “critiques of the CE” paper

Based on an extensive literature review the paper brings together critiques on circular economy. Following list covers some of them.

  • concept vagueness
  • conflicts and trade offs are often overlooked
  • collection of heterogeneous scientific and semi-scientific concepts
  • mostly developed by practitioners
  • conceptual fragmentation and lack of paradigmatic strength
  • not a theory but an emerging approach
  • in its multiplicity it provides with a new framing but there is increased scrutiny to its operationalization
  • cyclical systems also consume resources, create waste and emissions
  • complexity of waste: recycling markets are unpredictable
  • difficulty in connecting waste streams to production
  • waste a resource increases waste
  • emphasis on manufacturing flows rather than stocks/ stock is overlooked
  • global south is excluded
  • actual enactments are limited
  • circular business models can only be validated when products are recirculated and resold
  • lack of means to measure circularity of business models
  • circular innovation is hard to scale up
  • customers are lacking awareness
  • lack of consumer interest is a common problem for green offerings
  • issues of power remain underplayed on who’s to gain from turning circular
  • it revolves around a relatively small fraction of materials in the global throughput
  • it is uncertain on what level circular products can actually substitute for conventional linear products
  • having relied mostly on engineering and natural sciences, circular economy shows a neglect of the social pillar
  • it is not a socially or political neutral system: societal benefits of a new circular model should be established in a more fundamental and sound manner than just traditional cost-benefit analysis
  • the expectation that the individual consumer will be able to mobilize large scale change is unrealistic
  • potential gains from recycling are eaten up by increased consumption
  • risk of increased polarization between city and country and that the countryside is left out with poorer access to welfare services as a result

Sounds harsh, but most of it is true. Problem with some of this critique is that it examines CE within the linear economy paradigm. Criteria against which CE is contested here are based on either the clash of CE with existing models (ie waste stream management) or the strongly embedded modernist consumer(ist) habits. These can not possibly change overnight. Absence of the social pillar is pretty accurate though, as well as the asymmetry to CE implementation between the Global North and Global South. Which brings us perhaps to the most important point made in the paper, the acknowledgement that CE is not politically neutral. And unless CE is recognized for its political and (may I add) ethical stance, its implementation will always be lacking and the social pillar will always be suppressed.

References

Corvellec H, Stowell A, Johansson N. Critiques of the circular economy. J Ind Ecol. 2021; 1–12.
https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.13187 available here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jiec.13187?af=R

Circular Building Products ProfEd, starts March 31!

So excited that our ProfEd Circular Building Products for a Sustainable Built Environment is up for a second run, starting on March 31! Watch our new teaser video to see what the course is about and who else is involved.

For more information and registrations please visit: https://online-learning.tudelft.nl/courses/circular-building-products-for-a-sustainable-built-environment/

Looking forward to working with you in turning your product into a circular one!


Big thanks to Peter Van Assche (@PrettyPlactic), Casper van der Meer (BetterFutureFactory), Olaf Blaauw, Laura Rosen Jacobson (@Buurman), Martijn Veerman (@Alkondor) & Monique Fledderman (@VMGR). And thanks to @HansdeJonge from @Oculus for the great work in making this video!

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

Image available here

Just watched 2011 Adam Curtis 3-episode BBC series under this title of a poem by Richard Brautigan. I strongly recommend that you watch this documentary (link available here); Adam Curtis is a master at creating consistent narratives (remember ‘the century of the Self’). In the meantime, here is the poem the series owe its name to, dedicated to all my friends the cyberneticists.

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.