The Re-Use Atlas Review
Following the recent RIBA Publishing release of The Re-Use Atlas: A Designer’s guide to the circular economy, we want to provide you with an insight into some of the case studies featured in the book.
Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future: The genius of the human species is pretty much all that stands between us and a steady descent into hell on Earth. Through its uplifting narrative and inspiring case studies, the Re-Use Atlas showcases that genius at work in the material world, grafting elegant, super-efficient and circular solutions onto today’s insanely wasteful, linear economy.
Bill Gething, Sustainability + Architecture: An extraordinarily well researched map of current thinking on our approach to the sustainable use of materials. It outlines a set of stepping stones towards a circular economy that puts design at the core of change, illustrated with a huge range of intriguing and inspiring examples from around the world that demonstrate the kind of thinking necessary for this transformation and highlight the opportunities that potentially flow from it.
David Benjamin, Founder, The Living: Duncan Baker-Brown takes the abstract concepts of waste, energy, materials, and use–and brings them to life with vivid and inspiring examples to outline a fresh way of looking at architecture and the world. This book points to a new paradigm, replacing the design of single, static, solitary buildings with the design of complex adaptive systems.
Professor Dr. Michael Braungart, Co-Author ‘Cradle to Cradle’: Anticipating how something could be re-used at the point when it is first designed is now everyone’s responsibility. Readers of this book will be reminded of that.
Phillip Allsopp, Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University: The Re-Use Atlas strikes at the heart of economic drivers, which prioritizes profits, cheapness and waste over human wellbeing, especially in the construction and real estate sector. Duncan shines a powerful and long-overdue searchlight on the significant and sustainable social, health and economic advantages of employing a circular economy approach to the design and construction of human habitats.
Benjamin Derbyshire, Chair, HTA Design, RIBA President Elect: Duncan Baker Brown’s notion that we are beginning an era where we will be ‘mining the Anthropocene’ nicely captures the concept that humans are impacting not only earth’s surface and its atmosphere, but its crust too. This concept is well observed and game-changing. If we think as Baker-Brown does, cease our despoiling plunder of finite resources and turn to ingenuity in the re-use of that which we have already extracted, it may yet not be too late. He is a leading thinker who also demonstrates the way forward in practice. That’s what the best architects do.
Dr. Caroline Lucas MP: This book is full of positive stories, with tangible examples of projects that will inspire designers young and old to “mine the Anthropocene”. Politicians respond to ideas that have real, demonstrable examples backing them up. The Re-Use Atlas is full of those. I hope people get inspired, take note and take action.
Daniel Charny, Director, From Now On and Professor of Design, Kingston University: This rich compendium is for anyone interested in the responsibility that comes with the power of design to shape our world. Combining theory and practice it moves the debate beyond the why towards an applied circular economy we should all be practicing.
Mark Miodownik Professor of Materials & Society,Director,Institute of Making, UCL: This is an inspirational book on an important topic – I hope it triggers a revolution in design.
Kresse Wesling MBE, Elvis & Kresse: I met Duncan through our shared love of materials and incomprehension of landfill. His book is an incredible resource for designers and innovators who are delivering the circular economy. For practitioners like us at Elvis & Kresse, this book is a map, a way to find collaborators and doers, a way to go from baby steps to big leaps. A word of warning – if you have been thinking or theorizing about circularity for a while this book may make you want to roll up your sleeves, pick up a shovel, and take action.
Lionel Billliet, Rotor: In The Re-Use Atlas, Duncan Baker-Brown brings an enthusiastic and personal view on the circular building economy. The book is enlivened by the author’s sincere curiosity for sustainable design, reuse and waste, and by the unresolved questions that he is left with. More than just a useful overview of the projects and position statements that set milestones in the debate recently, The Re-Use Atlas also establishes a dialogue between distinct preoccupations – some in keeping with a canonical understanding of circular economy, others that are less often discussed or theorized. The result is a book that offers depth and fresh insights.
Nitesh Magdani, Group Director of Sustainability, Royal BAM Group nv: This is the first resource library I’ve read which breaks down the vast subject of resource efficiency with a clear focus on the built environment…The Re-Use Atlas is inspirational for anyone wanting ideas on how to think outside of the box, promoting entrepreneurial solutions to everyday problems. It’s clear that design and collaboration are the key enablers to better utilise the objects around us now – to make this a reality, we all need to unleash the designer in us!
Richard Ingersoll, author World Architecture – A Cross-Cultural History: For those who have doubts about the future of architecture, or indeed doubts about the future, The Re-Use Atlas offers a message of sanity, rather than exercises in vanity, documenting in detail the best methods of sustainable revisions to an overbuilt world.
Dr Ben Croxford, UCL Circular Economy Lab, CircEL: This important book will help change mindsets from demolish and dump, to refurbish, remanufacture and perhaps more importantly to design in the first place with re-use in mind.