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Planned Ignorance: Developing new typologies of waste management infrastructure and their necessity in a future 'sustainable' society

Part 2 Dissertation 2015
Alexander Cotterill
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) | UK
In the next 15 years, London will be obliged to manage 100% of its refuse within its boundaries. This not only forces society to confront its wastes psychologically, but also physically. This thesis therefore discusses the possibility and benefits of developing a new typology of waste management infrastructure that integrates itself within the urban environment to become an essential component of cities; technically, socially, politically and financially.

The thesis reflects upon the increasing despondency towards this previously undeveloped architectural typology through examining five ‘challenges’ apparent in its integration, concluding with a proposal that uses these as its foundation, addressing how managing the discarded excess of life can sit within future discussions on sustainability.

The concluding project investigates how factors that govern waste’s impact on society can manifest in an architectural proposition, negating these perceptions and turning waste, once again, into a valuable resource. Importantly, this opens up a much needed discussion about the development of an architecture of waste management and its integration into society but a discussion that can only continue if our planned ignorance towards waste and the architecture that contains it can be challenged.

Alexander Cotterill

Oliver Wilton
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