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 2021 Re-materializing Housing Workshop
Contents Report
Public Debates
Keynote Presentations: First Block
Keynote Presentation – Anna Heringer
While architecture can be a tool to improve lives, Heringer noted that it can also be manifested as a destructive force. Beyond creating buildings, architects must, therefore, foster communities and build in harmony with nature. To do so, Heringer explained the importance of building with natural materials in that they are labour- intensive, therefore fostering social justice, and CO2-neutral. Similarly, she insisted that architects must say ‘no’ to commissions which cannot be ethically embraced and invest more time in communication and planning, rather than going down the path of standardisation. In doing work that is meaningful and beneficial for both the planet and for those in need of support, Heringer insisted that there is much to gain.
Keynote Presentation – Stuart Smith
Noting the 375 million tonnes of waste that result from construction in the European Union per year, Smith informed the audience of its implications both in terms of carbon emissions and landfill waste. In order to solve these problems, Smith advocates for a circular economy based on the principle of keeping materials at their highest value for as long as possible. To this end, he introduced his project, the Circular Building (Arup, 2016), which uses recovered steel, Accoyo softwood, 3D-printed ventilation units made of recycled plastic and cradle-to-cradle materials rented as a service. With a focus of the flexible use of space, Smith noted that architects must not aim to only opitimise building systems, but to address multiple problems with impactful change.
Anna Heringer during her keynote presentation at the Re-materializing Housing Public Debates
  Stuart Smith during his keynote presentation, pictured on-stage at Madrid’s Fundación Francisco Giner de los Rios
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