PRACTICE IN SPACE > DECON_RECON

Design to reuse materials has been difficult to systematize in the built environment. Incorporating reclaimed materials pushes the boundaries of the processes of standard materials selection, sourcing, and use. This paper will examine the melding together of a process of building deconstruction and an intensive group design process, to create a way for materials reuse to become more universal while not losing the trans-mutational qualities of reclaimed materials as they evolve from one building to the next. These tandem processes allow designers and builders to develop an attitude toward salvaged material that leads to an integrative method to guide the design, and conversely, the design to guide the reclamation process. The practice of design / build is a strategy to link sustainable design methodologies to the harvest of discarded materials and buildings. Design and building are often a process of reconciliation between process, material and vision. Quantifiable processes are a mode of operation that can be overtly included in the visioning for such projects. In the deconstruction of a 150-year old barn addition and the building of a mobile shade structure at Yestermorrow Design / Build School in Warren, VT in the summer of 2010; the students and instructors engaged in a tandem process of deconstruction and design / build. The project led to a method in which assessable results and methods were considered in depth and were laid out within a larger structure for conveying the temporal possibilities for salvaging and designing with reused materials. It was the confluence of that practice and the group design / build procedure in a compressed amount of time that led to a materials transformation and use schema that hints at more universal possibilities in the future.