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The Value of (Re)collection

Part 2 Project 2012
Stuart Deacon
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
“If collecting is meaningful, it is because it shuns closure and the security of received evaluations and instead opens its eyes to existence, the world around us, both cultural and natural, in all its unpredictability and contingent complexity.” (Cardinal & Elsner, 1994).

In an attempt to utilise and realise the value of unwanted objects in a world where resources are diminishing and the rate of mass production in our consumer society is rapidly increasing, could architecture tackle the problem by collecting the city’s so called ‘waste’ and through archiving, reusing and recycling, feed the value of these objects back into the city which is currently advocating a throwaway society?


The proposed scheme seeks to collect Liverpool’s so called ‘waste’ and feed the objects, materials and the energy produced back into the city. The proposal is made up of a collection of entities that allow the unwanted objects and materials to be collected, sorted, valued, catalogued, stored and then recycled or reused.

The rooted recycling process is intersected by a theoretical Upcycling Emporium which represents a new direction in a familiar process. The Valuing Prism is located at the heart of this intersection and determines the direction of the objects depending on their value to be either upcycled or recycled. The existence and memory of each object that passes through the system is catalogued virtually to save and display the nostalgia and forgotten value.

The Upcycling Emporium is a framework of spaces woven into a storage facility that add value to objects through different mediums. These spaces are viewable by visitors to learn about the forgotten stories of objects, some spaces act as studios for the upcycling of objects, some provide workshops for visitors to get involved with the manipulation or repair of objects, whilst others provide trading units.


Liverpool is currently labelled as one of Britain’s worst recyclers. Introducing this new collecting and upcycling scheme throughout the city could help tackle this problem, acting as an experiment in ways to reduce waste in the urban environment.

Stuart Deacon

Prof Sam Vardy
• Page Hits: 6105         • Entry Date: 06 September 2012         • Last Update: 06 September 2012