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Protean Production / The Human Feculent Resource

Part 2 Project 2013
Dan Green
University of Plymouth, UK
Opposed to simply viewing the architectural intervention as a component in an instigated, closed looped system, a cog working for the greater good, the projects strength lies in its ability to exploit human and animal waste and to create new, economical opportunities. This is also the key element to create collaborations between the project ‘Champions’ – Energetyka and Celtic Development, as it offers opportunity for capital gain.

Ezio Manzini suggests that for systems like this to work we need to design resilient socio-technical systems in a concept he proposes called ‘Error-friendliness; the quality of systems with a good disposition towards errors’ [Goodbun, J + Till, J + Iosifova, D, 2012, p.58]. Mega-technologies [Nuclear Power Plants for example] and monological technical systems based on a single technical strategy are intrinsically far away from ‘error-friendly systems’, as any minor unexpected change in context, technology or error may have devastating economic, environmental, social or political consequences.

The architectural intervention seeks to take the existing linear waste treatment process [import, treat, dispose] and integrate it into the proposed circular economy. Through identifying waste as a resource, the material [in both the treated and untreated state] can become the catalyst for new industrial symbiosis. The instigation of an anaerobic digester provides a solution to the sustainable disposal of the existing treated sludge, where bio gas can be created and fed into both existing and proposed systems, whilst offering a localised solution to Poland’s energy dependence. Through combining the existing, traditional mechanical treatment process with experimental growing and natural waste treatments, alternative processes and industries can start to overlap and form the basis of the protean production facility.

These products could vary from biogas, biochar toilets, black solider fly cultivation, to eco bricks and fertiliser. If one or more system[s] are unsuccessful the additional components will support the system as a whole, and the physical space can evolve to support a new, resilient function.

Dan Green


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