Adaptive Reuse in Craft, Design and Art in the City


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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Adaptive Reuse is the use of buildings, materials and products for purposes other than originally intended. Although adaptive reuse has a long tradition in arts and crafts, more recently environmental awareness and design for sustainability have revitalized the role of a trash to treasures approach, providing a wide array of contemporary urban design, craft and art which are important part of today's cities. Supported by a significant photographic documentation of examples, this paper explores some of the roles of adaptive reuse in craft, design and art in the urban environment, focusing on repurposed objects found in urban public spaces. An initial background discusses the relationships of crafts and design in the rural and urban contexts, in order to define the city since the industrial revolution. The concepts of cultural identity and sustainability and their relationship to crafts and design are also discussed. Subsequently diverse examples from architecture, crafts, design and urban arts illustrate diverse modes of adaptive reuse at the urban, human or hand scale, mainly focusing on adaptive reuse of buildings and urban structures, as well as objects found in public spaces in the city, such as public furniture and public art (in exteriors) or fixtures as furniture, lights and art (in interior spaces). Main conclusions discuss the different roles of adaptive reuse, craft and design in the contemporary city's built environment through a categorization based on physical scale, context and use, namely within the types of repurposed items here illustrated and mainly within 4 categories, as follows: 1) Railways, 2) ISO Shipping Containers, 3) Gas tanks 4) Unused industrial equipment and others.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    Number of pages20
    JournalThe International Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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