Part of the RIBA Young Architects Initiative



In  2014 the UK generated 202.8 million tonnes of waste for which the construction industry was responsible for 59%.

In total, buildings and construction are responsible for 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide.

On top of this London has an Ecological Footprint of  5.48 global hectares.

To be sustainable it must be no more than 1.7 global hectares. 


Together with other designers and creatives we need to create "buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system"

Architects Declare, 2019


RE-FABRICATE is a collaborative research project calling for architects and designers to craft and innovate new materials and uses from waste produce.

Individuals will be assigned teams of six, three members will be from the architectural profession and three will be from other creative disciplines such as product design, landscape architecture or members with specific craft or material knowledge. Through cross discipline collaboration, participants will learn from different creative perspectives to understand how we, as a wider creative industry can work together to reduce waste and design within the limits of our environment. 

Each team will be assigned a material and asked to create an intervention only using reused or recycled elements of that material. The different professional experience within the teams offers an appreciation of the materials at different scales from manufacture to construction. As such teams are encouraged to research, experiment and explore the parameters of their material in order to identify how it can be produced and used in a more cyclical way. 

The materials are:

  • Timber

  • Aggregate (brick, concrete or ceramics)

  • Glass

  • Textiles

  • Plastics

The intervention must both be a driver towards a more considered approach to waste production in the industry and also respond to the wider movement towards more sustainable cities. What aspects of city life can be reconsidered and intervened with to become more sustainable? From infrastructural themes such as transport or retail to social themes of community provision or domestic space, teams are encouraged to creatively respond to the wider city. Some examples of creative projects and processes by other professionals can be found in our approach section below.



  • The opportunity to work collaboratively with other creative professions.

  • Design and build an intervention at 1:1 developing an in depth knowledge of the nature and properties of a material.


  • To exhibit their intervention at the project close and a feature on


Team structure .jpg