Gallery: VIDEO: Dwell Editor-in-Chief Sam Grawe Talks Reclaiming Design


In 2007, Inhabitat put together an event about recycling and reuse in design, called Reclaiming Design. This event at HauteGREEN in New York was a big success, thanks to the thought-provoking design and insightful discussion from Dwell Editor-in-Chief Sam Grawe and designers Carlos Salgado of Scrapile, Tejo Remy of Droog fame, and Matt Gagnon. Our conversation touched on a variety of issues surrounding the concepts and processes behind using reclaimed materials in different scales of design, and its implications for both environmental sustainability as well as more conceptual and cultural themes.

Inhabitat organized the Reclaiming Design event to explore what it means to recycle, reduce and reuse within the context of design. Our four panelists manage to not only touch on these issues, but raise many others that provided some great green design conceptual fodder for further discussion.

After each of our panelists showed their own work and weighed in Reclaiming Design, Jill and I began a moderated question and answer session that raised some interesting topics of discussion. We talked about the historical influences, how reclaiming older materials relates to DIY (do-it-yourself) projects, and the design market for such products and architecture that integrate recycled materials. Jill discussed the idea of the changing social acceptance of “recycling” and its interpretation within differing cultural connotations, while Sam Grawe weighed in on the architectural possibilities of recycling and reclaiming materials.

The question-and-answer session was chock-full of thought-provoking and sometimes contrasting ideas, but each of the panelists seemed to agree on the same things – sustainable design (and particularly the use of reclaimed materials) is an ongoing and complicated process that manifests itself in different ways. There is no “perfect green design;” in fact, as Jill remarked, designing “green” is actually a series of unique solutions to individual problems that attempt to balance health, environmental, social, and aesthetic issues as best as possible.

+ Reclaiming Design

For those of you who are really into this stuff, the full-length video of the entire discussion can be found here >


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  1. Inhabitat » REMY/... November 14, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    […] turns it into a great example of recycled design that your toes will love. Tejo Remy spoke at our Reclaiming Design event on the issues of reclaimed materials in design, and this is a shining example of turning […]

  2. Reclaiming Design &laqu... July 18, 2007 at 4:54 am

    […] have just published a video on ‘reclaiming design’: the act of using recycled, reused and reclaimed materials as part of the design process. the video […]

  3. Inhabitat » CUMUL... July 10, 2007 at 5:09 am

    […] to the themes we discussed in our recent Reclaiming Design panel, Steven sees existing objects as starting points for good design. He says, “I believe that […]

  4. itschubbwithans July 7, 2007 at 8:21 am

    this is a great video that explains exactly where inventors get there ideas,whether it is from basic design ideas or from human scraps. either way it shows how we can take our average waste and turn it into usable and profitable products. this post and video encourages us to go beyond our norm and create these products on our own and expand our normal way of thinking.

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