Welcome to the fifth issue of arki_news!


Re-thinking our Waste Systems

Munipical waste generation in developed countries has reached striking numbers in the past 20 years. In 2015, the total waste generated per capita in the European Union amounted to 474 kg, Denmark ranking as the most waste generating country (789 kg per person) and Romania as the least (247 kg per person). These numbers, among other statistics, reflect our appalling consumption patterns and imply that we urgently need to reconsider our habits in order to tackle waste-induced environmental problems. On the other hand, they strongly suggest a revision of our waste management methods. 

Numerous problems with traditional waste management (landfill etc.) and the increasing benefits of new methods, such as recycling and up-cycling, has encouraged Danish municipalities to take various measures, encouraging source separation. Today Copenhagen municipality is recycling 36 % household waste - the number will increase to 45% in 2018. 

Multifunctional Urban Spaces

Effective recycling, to a great extent, relies on effective sorting practices. To help active waste sorting, we as urban planners can play a crucial role by designing new solutions that encourage people to sort their waste responsibly. Most waste sorting stations do not look appealing. They’re tucked in the backyard, hidden from the public realm. But do they have to be distinctly secluded from everyday life? Shouldn’t sorting be a bigger part of our daily lives and be brought to public attention? How can we encourage sorting through spatial configuration? Could it be a social activity? How would that look like?

Copenhagen city center is the most densely populated area in Denmark, housing thousands of commuters and tourists on a daily basis. Consequently waste generation due to excessive consumption is becoming an imminent issue. The inner city areas either need to be better equipped to handle the increased amount of waste or need to expand their existing waste sorting solutions. Through integrating waste sorting into public spaces, metropolitan cities like Copenhagen can increase the quality of public streetscapes. 

Changing User Behavior Through Design

Another critical issue most cities face is the shortage of space, which calls on planners to design innovative solutions, addressing multiple problems. Synthesizing recycling stations with public areas helps solve different urban issues. On the other hand, sorting habits relate directly to user behavior, which we can alter with various nudging methods. Creating urban spaces is as much about proposing a new user culture as it is about good design. Design without end-user collaboration fails to influence user behavior through spatial elements. In our recent project in Valby Have we collaborated with the inhabitants to design a site-specific multifunctional solution in a public space. If you want to know more about changing user culture through citizen involvement and spatial design look at our other project: Nørrebro Outdoor Education.

Testing Ideas through Prototyping 

Out of our many different arki_tools, in this issue we would like to introduce one that's vital to our co-design process: arki_prototyping. Prototyping presents the citizen’s ideas in a comprehensible way, allowing the end-users to test and analyze the design prior to its final construction stage. Furthermore it leaves room for further iterations after gathering additional data and insight from the inhabitants. 

Prototyping materials are cheap and easily accessible, which encourages citizens to adjust, add on or remove pieces on site, supporting the experimental iterative process. We typically use crates, moving boxes and our self-designed arki_boxes. The boxes are designed to be adaptable to different conditions, giving the citizens unlimited ability to rearrange, create and define their surroundings. They serve as both design objects and as exploration tools. We imagine this process to be similar to playing LEGO’s with 1:1 pieces. 

The main goal of the prototyping process is to gain further insight and analyze the response to different options, in order to have an effective final design. Through physically testing out ideas, citizens are given the chance to directly design and build their communities, creating a sense of ownership over their neighborhoods.

Arki_prototyping contributes to an overall sustainable design process, allowing room for trial and error and ensuring that the final product reflects all gathered data. If you're interested to hear more about arki_prototype, feel free to contact us. 

Project Example
Waste as a Resource: Multifunctional Waste Solutions 
integrating waste separation into public spaces
The increasing amount of waste in cities requires new sustainable ways of handling waste. This does not only entail better waste separation facilities, but also requires considerable changes in user behaviour. In order to achieve this we need to work closely with the citizens to develop new solutions. At Valby Have we collaborated with the inhabitants to design a new waste separation area that also functions as a public gathering space. Read more...
Rethinking Educational Spaces: The Outdoor Classroom  
co-designing outdoor education with students 
In the recent years designers have started to examine the process of learning in relation to spatial qualities of a classroom. Research and application of non-traditional education spaces has revealed significant change in user behavior and overall teaching approaches. We started to test out alternative spaces for education through creating outdoor classrooms in collaboration with students and teachers.  Read more...
Social Media
What's New on Instagram !?
Testing the potentials of outdoor education together with the students at Blågård Skole and Nørrebro Park Skole.  ​Read more ...
Take a peek at the opening event at Haarby School, where the new facilities provide more space for physical activities. Read more ...
How can we create outdoor classrooms? Check out our short movie where we gathered our experiences with outdoor teaching. Read more ...
We translated students proposals from the design competition in Asnaes into final designs, reflecting the students’ drawings Read more ...
Copyright © 2017 arki_lab. All rights reserved.

arki_lab ApS
Birkegade 4, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark

Get in touch with us!
Visit us at arkilab.dk or drop us a line at mail@arkilab.dk

No longer want to receive these emails?
We'll miss you, but we always value your privacy. Unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp