Dwelling on Waste

Buffalo NY is a city which was thriving just 50 years ago. But the post-industrial city has outgrown itself. A residue from outdated infrastructures and a dwindling population is left behind: abandoned buildings lining entire blocks. It’s a city whose residents and enterprises are struggling financially, a city – like many in the world – facing a great deal of scarcity. Abandoned properties risk arson, drug activity, depreciated property values. Accompanying this is an alarming dependence on consumption, with little regard to the inevitable products of waste.

This project began by observing the breach between architectural practice and the actualities of the post-industrial city. Why are there homeless in a city full of vacant buildings? Can and should ethics surmount legal restraints? What role may the architect play in coordinating these social and economic tensions with the built environment? How can the discards of modern society mingle with the forgotten structures of a past era?

Andrew Perkins
Architect / Builder New York, NY