Old is the new black

I found this week’s reading for interior to be interesting. One thing in particular tripped my trigger and was what really got my wheels turning. The idea of using reclaimed as opposed to recycled materials was what caught my attention. Yes, recycling is great and is much better than just simply throwing things away that eventually become waste. But, I never thought about how using materials that are reclaimed could be even better than using recycled items. When something is recycled, it requires that the particular product or item be broken down and turned into a new product. This requires manufacturing techniques that can then add to the pollution and waste issue that is the problem in the first place. Using reclaimed items doesn’t require anything to be broken down or manufactured into anything new. The term reclaimed simply means taking something that already exists and merely reusing in another manner. For example, taking an old door and using it as a headboard for a bed. I think this idea is relevant to each of us because it is so simple and so sustainable. And who of us, as design students, doesn’t like to use our creativity in this way by taking something and finding a new use for it or taking something vintage and making it fashionable. I would say this very simple, yet very important and sustainable, description of the difference between recycling and reclaiming was my epiphany for the week.

Of course, I found the LOLA show about biomimicry to be very interesting. I think that everyone did a really great job with their presentations and many of them were very compelling. I found the one that Paige presented to be really neat. I can’t remember the name of the house, but it was the home in India that was made from all local lumber to the area. I thought this was such a great concept because it related to being local, which was our main topic for Thursday, as well as being sustainable and using our resources around us wisely and not taking advantage of what surrounds us. Being conscious of the trees and the rain around the house was very inspiring because it showed that a home can be practical and livable while still being sustainable and environmental conscious and friendly.

I would love to hear from more students that come from small communities and are used to buying things locally. I am from Tulsa and am not used to being concerned with where my food is coming from or who my banker is or who made my clothing. It sounds horrible, but I do think that this mindset is part of living in a large city. I am interested to understand in what ways we could move large cities towards a concept such as local. Is it really a practical and achievable idea?

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