Photos by Tommy Köhlbrugge and Igor Vermeer
One Standard Row House
Alissa+Nienke, Atelier to the Bone, and Kirstie van Noort
318 square meters of LDPE foil + 313 meters of PET strips + 470 cardboard bags + 24 single-use pallets = One house.
With a housing crisis engulfing our cities and a boom in the building of formulaic “starter” homes, Alissa+Nienke, Atelier to the Bone and Kirstie van Noort uncover the waste produced in raising one standard row-house in the Netherlands. Construction companies have responded to environmental issues and expanded their profit margins by using prefabrication to build houses cheaply, sustainably and fast. Researching the rubbish generated during the assembly of one row-house in collaboration with open-minded construction and development companies, the project team uncovered a blind spot in this hyper-efficient system: packaging material.
Despite the best efforts of construction firms to be more sustainable, most packaging ends up as unsorted rubbish on a building site. However, the range of materials is surprisingly narrow. Standardised construction produces large amounts of standardised waste. Constantly streaming onto building sites around the world, this homogenised junk offers great possibilities, considering the typology and identical form of the materials involved.
Built from anonymous sheets of LDPE foil, the installation One Standard Row House materialises the quantity of the foil that is wasted in the erecting of a standard home—the greatest volume of all the rubbish created—and imagines its promise as a resource for the future. Arranged as a field of anonymous sheets, all collected from active construction sites, the installation invites visitors to wander around, experiencing what 318 square metres of junk really feels like and confronting its compressed equivalent as a material filled with potential.
With thanks to: Dura Vermeer and construction partners; Precious Plastic
Alissa+Nienke is a material research and design studio with a unique interpretation of surface design. Influenced by their concept-led education at Design Academy Eindhoven and their practical experience of working with both craftsmen and new technologies, their work is characterized by tactility, simplicity and the use of natural forces like wind or light. Alissa and Nienke founded their design studio in 2013, and work on commissioned and self-initiated projects in the field of interior design and architecture
Atelier to the Bone (Philippe Rol, Beert Gieteling, and Jeroen van Aerle) connect people and material. They are designers and makers with a great fascination with the way people use their environment.
Kirstie van Noort graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven department Man and Well-Being in 2011. Since 2012 van Noort runs her own design studio in Eindhoven. She received the 2012 Material Award, was featured in exhibitions at Rijksmuseum, Rossana Orlandi, and more, and participated in the 2016 Arita project in Japan. She collaborates with companies as a (material) researcher.