Vol. 18 No. 2 (2021): Architecture, Waste, and the Circular Economy
Waste is a global crisis. The world is drowning in an unprecedented amount of waste due to an increasing linear economy model that drive humanity to consume more every day. It was reported that the average American citizen consume nearly 32 times more that the average Indian citizen. Companies, businesses, and corporates are continuously racing to deplete the planetâ€™s natural resources in an astonishing rate. The design and construction sector alone are responsible for 30-40% of total solid waste worldwide, yet as architects, designers, and planners the waste problem is almost absent from the current discourse, both in practice and academia. Beyond sustainability, and as ideas such as the Dutch â€œCircularCityâ€ become more appealing to architects and designers, the architectural education must adopt a transformational shift in the design thinking process to prepare a more responsible future architect. A shift from goal-oriented design to means-oriented design requires a shift in the design studio pedagogy. A transformation is needed in education, practice, research, and related professions to address the current and emerging economic challenges post pandemics, and through the built environment lens. It is time to define the role of architecture and design in the circular economy paradigm shift. What is the role of the architect and architectural education in the waste problem? How design thinking can address the unavoidable crisis? Could the design studio be activated as a catalyst to provide holistic solutions to the problem? This call is intended to push the research agenda and to highlight the possibilities for scholars, designers, academics, and architects for research, teaching, and scholarship on the role of both the Higher Education and practice in the Circular Economy.