Issue 010 Cover

010 / Circular and Plastics Economy

By Khaled Abou Alfa • Published August 2019



LEGO House - Image copyright BIG Architects.

Discussed in issue 006, modular design is gaining momentum around the world. Unsurprisingly, Singapore has positioned itself at the forefront, introducing it as a government requirement back in 2014. That initiative has now begun to bear fruit with the recently completed Clement Canopy. Rising up 140m, the two towers, claim to be the world’s tallest modular constructed towers.

Elsewhere, WilkinsonEyre architects have combined modular construction with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction (for more on Cross Laminated Timber see issue 007) in the newly completed Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Finally, in Bjarke Ingel’s TED talk he extrapolates the concept to floating cities and the incredible LEGO House - which is not a modular building, but certainly looks like it should be one.

Circular and Plastics Economy

The awareness behind the circular economy is growing and moving  more into the mainstream. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a charity that has carved a clear position for themselves as being both an authority and at the forefront of this concept. A concept we will explore further in future issues of In Abeyance.

Linear is worth less than circular.
— Dame Ellen MacArthur

The foundation released an update to their New Plastics Economy Global Commitment report. This report provides a fascinating overview of the companies responsible for the production and distribution of plastics around the world. Crucially the report highlights which companies have committed to a more considered future and which have not. In a recent interview, MacArthur explains the reasons behind the report, the impact it’s had and the work that still needs to be done.

We cannot understate the impact that plastics and waste in general have on our natural and built environment. As such, the work carried out by the foundation is to be commended and supported.

Tools of the Trade



While Finch does not launch until 2020, this grasshopper plug-in will cycle through floor plans and adapt to given constraints. Something worthwhile looking out for when it becomes available. The jury is divided on how or even if the design community will embrace the tool.

The rest of this chapter can be found in the Built Environment Compendium Vol.01.
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The Stet newsletter explores the ideas, projects and technologies that define our built environment.