ARC21: This is copper - Studio ThusThat

The goal of This Is Copper is the development, promotion and implementation of a more sustainable alternative to ordinary cement. This project addresses both the depletion of (virgin) resources as well as the emission of greenhouse gasses by the construction sector. Copper slag, the waste by-product of the copper production, is transformed into a so called geopolymer that outperforms OPC in terms of strength and durability, yet its CO2 footprint is up to 80% lower.

Toelichting Studio ThusThat

The materials in our everyday lives are much more complex than they initially seem. Every material comes at a cost; vast quantities of byproducts and wastes are left in its wake. However, scientists work tirelessly to find new applications for these wastes in an effort to overthrow the old model of resource extraction. Harnessing the power of design and storytelling we aim to complement the academic approach and bring color and beauty to this new narrative of a more sustainable future.

ARC21 This is Copper - Studio ThusThat
Sparkly Black Chair in Pile of Copper Slag. Beeld Studio ThusThat

The contribution of the construction sector to both global CO2 emissions (8%) as well as resource depletion (e.g. scarcity of river sand) are well known issues today. In order to build a more sustainable, more healthy and more socially just society we must ensure the preservation of human habitat as we know it. Tacking these wicked problems through the utilization of waste streams plays a key role in achieving these ambitious goals.

Greener alternatives must be competitive within the existing industrial/economic model and they must be sustainable in the long run. In order to ensure the technical validity of the project we worked in close collaboration with the material science department at KU Leuven. Their expertise in waste based materials for the construction industry was invaluable for the success of this project.

Sparkly Black Chair in Pile of Copper Slag. Beeld Studio ThusThat

Collaboration and playing off each other's strength lies at the heart of this project. Scientists are fantastic at solving problems and developing new, better technologies. Design and architecture on the other hand have the ability to tell stories, change public perception and stimulate change on a societal level. Showcasing the academic research of KU Leuven through the means of designed objects has proven an effective way to communicate with various stakeholders from the construction sector.

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Sinds 2007 werkt Astrid de Wilde als (web)redacteur op de redactie van de Architect.
Naast het schrijven van het dagelijks (architectuur)nieuws, artikelen en een incidentele blog op de maakt zij ook de Whitepapers en is zij betrokken bij de printedities van de Architect.
Hiervoor was zij werkzaam bij onder andere Detail in Architectuur en Architectuur & BOUWEN.