Aarhus School of Architecture

Performing Plastic Surgery – research by Chris Thurlbourne and Mads Hulsrøy


Plastic is soulless. Plastic is devoid of character. It’s artificial. Too complete. Too throwaway. Plastic is rubbish. Plastic is resource demanding.
There is endless disused plastic waste scattered across the globe. A tsunami of unwanted plastic that disperses, to make way for more injection molded addiction. The old pieces – consigned to the rubbish tip.
Yet it is a keystone of our developed world, where we rely on this ductile material to support our society and its development. In architecture too, we rely on polymers. But instead of celebrating this omnipresent material, we hate it. It adsorbs precious natural resources. Denmark is currently using 750.000 tons of raw material annually for plastics alone. More significantly, when there is no further use of those plastic artefacts littering our lives, we simply don’t know what to do with it. That’s 440.000 tons of annual plastic waste (Pivnenko, 2019) and we don’t know what to do with. The material seems to have little value to our lives.