In Limbo | 1st semester | winter semester 2023/24

What would happen if we rethink the typology of a recycling center as an inner-city drop-off point? What kinds of architectures of trash would emerge if e-waste isn’t simply buried in our domestic drawers? Can e-waste management be rethought as a productive and desirable typology within an urban environment? Can we imagine a recycling process that becomes an attraction like the store next to it? What are the social, political, and ecological imperatives of the product lifecycle of smartphones, how are they hidden by contemporary practices, and how can design make them public?


The basis of the analysis is a series of selected spaces from the life cycle of a smartphone: from raw material extraction, through production and distribution, to actual use. The basic structural aspects of these spaces are systematically examined. The aim is to work out iconographic aspects, planning requirements such as accessibility, programmatic distribution as well as spatial and atmospheric strategies. The findings are graphically recorded in drawings as a plan set and presented in the form of patent data sheets, thus making their conceptual regularity transferable for the design.


The project involved each student telling their own personal "waste site story“, exploring the spatial conflicts and potentials of the topics throwaway culture, repair movement and urban mining. Each Recycling Hub positions itself with an appropriate urban presence. In a central location, the Stuttgart Marktplatz is reprogrammed into a staging ground for the three thematic threads of collection, repair and trade. The Recycling Hub aims to awaken the waste economy as a focus of urban identity, engaging people to bring by their unused devices.  

Design Studio directed by Florian Bengert
Accompanying Seminar Architectural Model Photography directed by Oliver Kröning