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a21studio and Handhome turn waste into doorknobs for an exhibition in Saigon

In September 2018, a21studio collaborated with Handhome platform to organize an exhibition in Saigon, Vietnam called “The doorknob” reflecting on how we pollute our planet with more and more products, the architects show the ways to recycle through creating doorknobs of wasted pieces.

Photo: Trieu Chien

The majority of our personal belongings can be easily replaced. everything is ready made and ready to be shipped in an instant. We don’t have a chance or a reason to form a relationship with the things that we own. instead of referring to our basic needs, more often than not, we make a purchase to satisfy our urge for ownership. This has led to the increasing consumption level that goes in hand with the mounting heaps of waste that plagues our planet. Yet every year there are more things being made, new trends announced followed by collections of seasonal items.

Photo: Trieu Chien

However, with each purchase we make, there is also a hidden fee that we all have to pay in a non-monetary form. The extraction of raw material and its treatment process has distorted the earth’s natural landscape while our daily consumption has created the piling landfills that pollute our living space. We are unknowingly trading natural resources for short lifespan items. Junk and scraps – items that have lost the desirable features they once held – become the apparent by-product of our living style. Without its market value, we regard these reclaimed scraps as a new source of raw material.

Photo: Trieu Chien

In their recent projects, a21studio and Handhome actively searched for ways to replace conventional building material with the reclaimed pieces they have collected. Time has given these scraps material a form of beauty that no one is able to find in newly made pieces. Using reclaimed material has allowed the architects to reconsider the design decisions in their projects. It is also a way to step away from the mindless consumption that is affecting the living environment.

Photo: Trieu Chien

“We are aiming at a handbook on how to construct a house entirely from reclaimed material,’ explains the team.” The handbook will include ways to collect and apply each material in different sections of the building. We kickstart the handbook project by organizing the exhibition showcasing the reclaimed material we have found and how we have transformed it into the smallest detail of a building – the doorknob.

Photo: Trieu Chien
Photo: Trieu Chien

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