New York City, much like any big city, disposes of a lot of trash — but what if that trash could be used in a constructive manner? NYC-based architects Terreform have proposed a new form of construction for the City that uses industrial sized robots to create buildings and islands from waste instead of sending it to landfills like Fresh Kills. They’re calling the project Rapid Re(f)use, and the first design is a reverse of the Statue of Liberty that would be built out in the harbor.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
statute of liberty, rapid re(f)use, new york city, nyc, trash, waste, rebuilt

Terreform proposes to take the trash already sitting at Fresh Kills landfill and use it extend the city and reconstitute it. Automated robots would be modified from existing industrial waste compaction devices in order to process the trash and transform it into building materials. Rather than the traditional compaction devices that smash trash to make it smaller, these robots would have jaws to create simple shape geometry – trash building blocks.

Plastic would be transformed into fenestration for windows, organic materials used for temporary scaffolds, metal for more rigid structures, and so on. Terreform expects that with all the trash at the landfill and disposed of each year, they could remake seven entirely new Manhattan islands at full scale. Eventually, the purpose is to make no distinction between the city and the waste it generates.