Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Theodore Trent Green, M.Arch.


Up-cycle, Reuse, Materials, Surplus, Objects


In today's society, we view new as good, a universal standpoint that has become so commonly accepted as true, that to question it would be absurd. While many new items are an upgrade over their predecessor, it is important to understand that used items still retain a high amount of value and efficacy. Our landscape is filled with the mundane, industrial elements that surround us, yet due to our familiarity with them they are pushed to the background of our consciousness. However their commonplace should not mask their true potential value. By using what is already there before us, we will limit our dependence on new materials, as well as begin to diminish our waste. The surplus of idle materials compounded by skyrocketing construction cost has set the stage for a revolutionary change to architecture.

Alternative construction methodologies such as up-cycling will undeniably reconfigure the design spectrum, showcasing an entirely new layer of building materials that exists, while giving us a better understanding of our environment. Up-cycling, is the process of turning waste materials and by-products into new, useful items which will reduce our waste and limit our dependence on virgin materials. These revitalized objects create an undeniable usefulness and practicality with dynamic flexibility, all the while changing our mentality. This inventive language has the capability to dictate the way we view common objects by unveiling a potential transformation of architecture. My aim is to create a center for up-cycling education, a facility that will demonstrate the sustainable practice of re-using materials and found items in an effort to achieve an inventive dialect of sustainability that is affordable.

This center will demonstrate how everyday items can be utilized in an unorthodox manner to become part of our built environment. The unique components of the structure will create dynamic spaces that encourage interaction with building materials while giving us a better understanding of our environment. This resourceful method of sustainability will showcase a potential change to architecture by revealing a new vocabulary of building materials, as well as serve as a comment on our throw away culture. This new theory of devised architecture will not only prove to be beneficial economically, but more importantly it will provide a sensible solution in creating an affordable sustainable environment. The stage is set; we must do more with less.