Reset Materials – Towards Sustainable Architecture (2023) Installation view at Copenhagen Contemporary (2023) Photo: Hampus Berndtson
Towards Sustainable Architecture
Explore sustainable building materials of the future, in the large experimental exhibition at the intersection of art and architecture: Reset Materials – Towards Sustainable Architecture
Construction represents one of the most polluting human activities on the planet today accounting for nearly 40% of the global CO2 footprint. Much of this comes from the production and waste of materials. It is therefore urgent for architects and the building industry, and for society in general, to radically transform how we source, construct, and inhabit our built environments.
Reset Materials explores the future of architecture with works of new, trailblazing, experimental building materials. Ten interdisciplinary teams, each consisting of architects, artists, and material producers, join creative forces to present their compelling visions towards a post-carbon architecture. The focus of the show is sample and full-scale studies of newly developed or rediscovered local materials – from recycled plastics or silicon to growing organisms and biogenic materials such as mycelium, nettle, clay and hemp – all collected, cultivated, recycled, de-constructed and re-composed by the teams. The final works are exhibited as material fragments that allow the visitor to encounter individually the process and architectural, functional and aesthetic potential of the materials.
Will our buildings in the future be constructed out of fungi, nettles, and recycled plastic? Can we cultivate bricks like we do crops? And how will sustainable materials change our understanding of architectural beauty and values?
The exhibition presents, among others, the architect Anders Lendager and the artist Honey Biba Beckerlee, who experiment with waste from the extraction of silicon. Silicon is found everywhere in nature. It is in sand, rock, soil and clay – even in the leaves of plants and the skin, hair and nails of humans. Among other things, it is extracted for use in the production of microchips and solar cells – and in that process a large part is wasted. Lendager and Beckerlee investigate how silicon can be used in dust form to create new aesthetic expressions such as ceramics – here they have succeeded in creating a brightly colored glaze from a combination of waste materials from industry – and how the substance can solve technical challenges in construction, such as compressed building blocks and screeds.
Another team explores the fungal material mycelium. The inhomogeneous, fast-growing network structure of this material holds enormous design potential and can be used for, among other things, sustainable acoustic solutions. The material is presented by architects, engineers and artists from the Royal Danish Academy, Henning Larsen Architects, the design studio nikolova/aarsø and the manufacturer Naturpladen ApS.
The exhibition is curated in collaboration with the external curator and architect Chrissie Muhr, and created in a collaboration between CC and the Danish Association of Architects (Akademisk Arkitektforening). The exhibition is supported by the Dreyers Foundation and stems from the project.
The ten teams of the exhibition were selected by an Open Call and worked together in a one-year grant as part of the #MATERIALER project, initiated by the Dreyers Foundation. Since then, the teams consisting of established as well as upcoming architects, artists, and material producers, have investigated and experimented on the aesthetic, constructive and ecological potential of the materials. The results will be presented for the first time in the exhibition Reset Materials – Towards Sustainable Architecture.
List of participating teams:
Kim Lenschow and Anders Wilhelmsen (Office Kim Lenschow, architect)
Natural Material Studio (Material researcher and designer),
Hans Peter Dinesen (Dinesen, Producer)
Vicki Thake (Architect),
Grethe Wittrock (Textile artist),
Torben Eskerod (Photografer)
Simeon Østerlund Bamford and Mathias Ørum Nørgård (Reværk Architects),
Kasper Kjeldgaard (Artist)
Søren Thirup Pihlmann and Jakob Rabe Petersen (pihlmann architects),
Rhoda Ting and Mikkel Dahlin Bojesen (Studio ThinkingHand),
Christian Vædele-Larson (HempCrete.dk ApS)
Nettle, hemp, flax & eel grass
Frans Drewniak (Architect),
Sara Martinsen (Artist)
Anders Lendager, Nikolaj Callisen Friis,
Daga Karlsson (Lendager, Architecture and Consultancy),
Honey Biba Beckerlee (Artist),
én jord (Producer),
Eco Silicate (Producer)
Lynge Lynge Architects,
Jakob Steen (Artist),
Mikael Martlev (Master Mason),
Anne Beim, Line Kjær Frederiksen and Lykke Arnfred (CINARK – Center for Industriel Arkitektur, Det Kongelige Akademi)
Tove Storch (Artist),
Laura Feline Ebbesen, Thomas Gerner (Straatagets Kontor, tækkere)
Lasse Lind, Aleksander Kongshaug, Tandia Hardcastle, Johannes Dickmeiss, Amaya Steensman (GXN/3XN, Architects)
Silas Inoue (Artist)
Jan Vandersander (BioMason, producent)
lsak Worre Foged (Det Kongelige Akademi, Architect),
Jon Strunge and Jørgen Strunge (Naturpladen ApS),
Jonas Aarsø (nikolova/aarsø),
Magnus Reffs Kramhøft (Henning Larsen Architects)