Michael Reynolds is an Eco-Architect that proposes a new language for architecture building. He uses recycled materials to create structures where people can live in a sustainable way and saving money in some cases. One of the most interesting things in the film is how he talks about the process he had to go through in his attempt to introduced new legislation. I think his decision of not only creating a new technique for building but, taking it to the last instance and pushing it to be legal is a very valuable sample for us designers. Research contributions to our field are important but if they can go further into practice, they can make the difference. He proves that building techniques can be innovative and from materials that already exist. It is needed to see beyond and explore its possible usage.
As designers, and especially as design students, one of our greatest freedoms in the design process is our freedom to fail. It is only by failing that we learn how things work. Michael Reynolds is a perfect example of those who are not afraid of failure because he understands the true value of it. As experiential learners (those who learn by “doing”) we develop a long lasting knowledge base through explorative play with both materials and building systems. If you get rid of our freedom to fail, our abilities to innovate and evolve become greatly hindered. As students we are learning about the greatest new technologies and schools of thought under the umbrella of sustainability in the built environment. Like Michael Reynolds, we too must become the “Trojan Horses” in the design firms in which we work, fighting for innovation without fear in the workplace. I feel like both this film and class are preparing us to spark a revolution, showing those who avoid change because they are afraid of being sued that being explorative in our design process can only bring about benefits to both the firm and the client in the long run. Testing and prototypes are the way we must do design work so we can design a new architecture of survival for our changing environment.
I like the concept of building from recycled materials, but I think the concern here with the Garbage Warrior was not as much with the different choices of materials as with deviating away from standards that were put in place to protect the general public. I think a lot can be learned from the choices of recycled materials and using of local materials to each region, but you still need to market a product that is acceptable for the general public. Consumer's don't know what they want until they are guided to it. Such is the case with advertising. All the things that you didn't know you wanted. I think we also crave uniqueness and identity with a product. I think there are creative approaches we can come up with as designers to develop an acceptable product within building standards that offer more sustainable choices to the general public. There is a balance somewhere between stepping too much outside of acceptable building practices and delivering a better product in tune with nature. We just have to find it.
I am impressed with Reynold's “killing two birds with one stone” approach – disposing of trash and minimizing the resources needed for a structure simultaneously – and also with the idea that a building can be self-sustaining in its water and power needs. While thinking about how we could take this idea and expound on it a bit the image of a building with an extensive green roof (the type that can sustain substantially sized plants) popped in my head. Inside the walls of the building is a water filtration system composed of natural materials. Parts of the skin of the walls could be transparent so that the filtration system could become an aesthetically pleasing entity, on par with a terrarium or aquarium. I have been thinking about how this idea might translate into our final project. I'll do some research on filtration systems and post more later.
This movie is addressing another solution in sustainable design. Using used material (garbage) to build new constructions. But this film is not just about the design solution, it shows how the people in power and lows are against this attempt. It is interesting that this film mentions to other responsibilities of a designer. He/she needs to prove or sell his/her idea to other people in the society. As we talked before, the main solution is change in our living habits, and changes are always painful and this movie shows part of it. The part of the movie that he says we need to make mistake to come up with new ideas and solution and designers need to have the opportunity to make mistake.