URBAN 
BRICOLAGE

Mining, Designing & Constructing with Reused Building Materials

ABOUT

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The SNSF-PRIMA-funded project “Urban Bricolage. Mining, Designing and Constructing with Reused Building Materials” investigates the emerging circular economy of building materials in four European countries: Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Poland.

The project enquires into the practical problems that scrap dealers, middlemen, architects, engineers, digital experts, company owners, and carpenters face when working with reused materials.

In an innovative manner, this project combines architectural debates on the ecological requirements, technical possibilities, aesthetic reconfiguration, and material transformability of reused materials with an anthropological approach.

Beyond the academic relevance, the team engages in academic and public activities to foster reuse practices in Switzerland and beyond.

TEAM

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Madlen Kobi (team leader)
Prof. Dr.
madlen.kobi@unifr.ch
Madlen is Assistant Professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Her main research and teaching interests include architectural anthropology, infrastructure, urban political ecology, material culture and the anthropology of waste, with a regional focus on China. She obtained her PhD from the Institute of Social Anthropology of the University of Bern in 2014 and was a guest researcher at Xinjiang University in Ürümqi (China) and at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. From 2015 to 2017, she held a position as postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Ethnographic Museum/Institute of Social Anthropology and Empirical Cultural Studies of the University of Zürich. From 2017 to 2021, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture, Academy of Architecture, Università della Svizzera Italiana.
Adam Przywara (postdoctoral researcher)
Dr.
adam.przywara@unifr.ch
Adam is an architectural historian and researcher. He holds a PhD in Architecture from the University of Manchester for a dissertation titled “The Materiality of Ruins: Rubble, Salvaged Bricks, and Waste Aggregates in the Postwar Socialist Reconstruction of Warsaw”. He also holds an MA in Architecture History from the Bartlett, University College London. He was a fellow of the Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau (2020) and Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau (2018). He is a curator of architecture history exhibitions “Warsaw 1945-1949: Rising from Rubble” at the Museum of Warsaw (2023) and "See You After the Revolution!" at the Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok (2019). His research interests focus on the materiality of ruins, postwar reconstruction, as well as practices and knowledge of material reuse in historical and contemporary architecture.
Elena Sischarenco (associated researcher, team member 2022-2023)
Dr.
elena.sischarenco@unifr.ch
Elena holds a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews (UK, 2017), during which she carried out research with the entrepreneurs of the construction business in Lombardy (Northern Italy). She is the author of “Encountering Entrepreneurs: An Ethnography of the Construction Business in the North of Italy.” Previous to this project, she worked as a Senior Research Associate at Lancaster University in the IAMRRI project (HORIZON 2020) on Responsible Research and Innovation in Additive Manufacturing, better known as 3D printing. During her career, she carried out various ethnographic studies and researched in different businesses (3D printing, automotive, medical, construction, industrial manufacturing). Her research interests go far beyond the anthropology of business.
Vanessa Feri (former team member, 2022-2023)
M.A.
Vanessa was a PhD student in social anthropology at the University of Fribourg from 2022-2023. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in architecture from ETH in Zurich in 2020, she completed her master degree in design at the Lucerne School of Design & Art in 2022. She has taken up a position at Bürgi Schärer Architekten in Bern in January 2024.
Annabel Andrey Bissig
Administrative Manager
annabel.andreybissig@unifr.ch
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NEWS & EVENTS

June 8, 2024

Panel at the Annual Meeting of the Swiss Anthropological Association SAA 2024

At the Annual Meeting of the Swiss Anthropological Association SAA (Schweizerische Ethnologische Gesellschaft) which took place in Lucerne on June 6-8, Madlen Kobi co-organized with Silke Oldenburg (Global Governance Center, Geneva Graduate Institute) a panel entitled "An Urban Anthropology for Troubled Times. Making and Engaging Anthropological Knowledge for Just Urban Environmental Futures". In the first decades of the 21st century, humankind is facing a multiplicity of environmental crises that also and largely affect everyday lives in cities. Floods in New Orleans, heavy air pollution in Beijing, or urban heat in Mumbai – these events are challenging urban governments and citizens alike to find solutions for the future liveability of urban areas. In his influential 1915 essay on “The City,” Robert Park and other members of the Chicago School of Sociology pledged to not only depict urban life worlds but also to raise awareness for public engagement. More than a century later, the public dissemination of anthropological knowledge and the inclusion of anthropologists’ voices in urban environmental debates has remained a significant challenge. Besides the discussion of Madlen and Silke's research, Danielle Isler presented her PhD research on whitened spaces in Cape Town.
June 5, 2024

Call for Panel Papers: Architectural Histories of Building Material Reuse in Modernity

Adam Przywara and Lionel Devlieger (Ghent University) are convening a panel on “Architectural Histories of Building Material Reuse in Modernity” at the 78th Annual International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians. The 19th and 20th centuries have been marked by a historically unprecedented proliferation of ruins and rubble across the world. Grand urban renewal schemes, industrialized warfare and architectural obsolescence drove accelerated cycles of demolition and new construction, leaving mountains of debris behind. Documenting and analyzing the destructive aspects of modernity has become a crucial part of the critical currents of architectural history today. This panel seeks to expand that inquiry by investigating how demolition waste and postwar rubble have been handled, transformed and reused in the wake of destruction. In the past two centuries, the linear - extractivist, consumerist, wasteful - model took hold over the industry, profession, and historiography of architecture. By accounting for building material reuse in modernity, this panel aims to bring forward architectural histories that complicate these existing narratives while helping to identify moments of critical resistance, together with alternative practices and imaginaries. We seek papers based on the original archival research positioning the practice of building material reuse in the political, economic and environmental context of 19th and 20th-century modernity; papers, which expand the disciplinary boundaries to account for the history of ownership, procurement, logistics, and trade of second-hand materials, as well as their use by self-builders, workers, engineers, architects, and administrations. The conference will take place between April 30 and May 4, 2025 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Follow the link to submit the abstract on June 5, 2024 (deadline at 11:59 p.m. CDT).
May 29, 2024

Reading Group "Urban Metabolism"

The Urban Bricolage team has initiated a reading group on "Urban Metabolism" which meets monthly online. We discuss texts that focus on material flows in and from cities from an interdisciplinary perspective. In particular, we are interested in understanding the ecological, architectural, social, economic, and political environment in which the urban construction sector functions. So far, we discussed texts related to debris in Toronto (by Jennifer Foster/Heidy Schopf and Alison Creba/Jane Hutton), concrete in West Africa (by Armelle Choplin), wood (by William Cronon and Julie Marin/Bruno De Meulder) and wastescapes (by Matthew Gandy and Wendy Wuyts/Marjan Marjanović). Drop us a line if you are interested to join upcoming sessions!
May 19, 2024

Circular[x]Change 2024 in Copenhagen

Madlen and Adam participated in the Circular[x]Change 2024 organized by Lendager in Copenhagen. CxC is a three-day conference with the aim to connect architecture and design offices spanning across Europe, with a shared focus on promoting reuse and embracing circular building practices. The event was joined by practitioners from 11 European countries and the group worked on a charter for circular construction. Photo: Maria Buko
April 26, 2024

Congratulations! Adam Przywara received the Architectural Award of the Mayor of Warsaw

The Architectural Award of the Mayor of Warsaw is presented yearly by a jury of leading professionals and critics in order to distinguish the best architectural realisations in the city. The exhibition “Warsaw 1945-1949: Rising from Rubble” curated by Adam Przywara was nominated in the category architectural event of 2023. On the gala which took place on 26 April in the National Library of Warsaw, the results of the 10th edition of the competition were announced. Adam’s exhibition has won a prize. Among other receptions of the prize was BRDA Foundation, which supplies grassroots renovations in Ukraine with the second-hand windows recovered in Poland. Photo by Maria Buko
April 15, 2024

Congratulations! Adam receives the Theodor Fischer Award

The Association of Friends of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte offers an annual award for early career research in the history of architecture. The purpose of this award, named after the architect Theodor Fischer (1862-1938), is to encourage younger scholars to bring the results of their work to the attention of a broader public. The winning candidate chosen by an independent committee of scholars, receives € 7,000 and is expected to spend three months conducting research at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich.
April 8, 2024

In the Unimix Studio!

The Urban Bricolage-team is busy these days preparing a podcast about our research on the circular economy in building construction in Europe! Stay connected to learn when it finally gets released...
March 1, 2024

Anstadt - Andere Blicke auf die Stadt aus der Sozialanthropologie

Dieser Podcast entstand im Rahmen eines Seminars zu Stadtanthropologie an der Einheit für Sozialanthropologie der Universität Fribourg. Während des Herbstsemesters 2023 haben wir uns mit dem Leben in der Stadt befasst und uns dabei mit den unterschiedlichen Menschen auseinandergesetzt, die unser Umfeld gestalten. Mit Beiträgen von Cielïs Bravo González, Anjali Nedungadi, Fanny Dumont, Lucien Kessler, Anouk Riboni, Monika Schumacher und Leila Wyss.
October 26, 2023

Festival Filme für die Erde: "Going Circular"

Das Festival "Filme für die Erde" zeigt dieses Jahr unter anderem Filme zum Thema "Kreislaufwirtschaft". Madlen Kobi hält im Anschluss an den Film "Going Circular" (26.10., Neubad Luzern) einen Gastvortrag und diskutiert im Gespräch mit dem Publikum, was, wie und unter welchen Bedingungen unsere Gesellschaft kreislauffähig werden kann.
October 24, 2023

HEIA: Guest input in the Atelier "Réemploi. Form Follows Matter"

Madlen Kobi and Adam Przywara present their research in the Atelier "Réemploi. Form Follows Matter" led by Hani Buri, François Esquivié and Nicolas Grandjean at HEIA Fribourg. In the atelier for architecture students, Madlen and Adam will give an overview of the research project "Urban Bricolage" and talk about different historical, cultural and geographical contexts of reuse.
October 18, 2023

Deconstructing Circularity: Actors and Practices in the Contemporary Reuse of Building Materials in Urban Contexts

In recent years, “circular economy” has become a buzzword in building construction to confront sustainability issues caused by the climate and resource crises. City governments develop strategies to become more circular by reusing buildings and building materials and producing less waste. Architectural offices focus on designing buildings with deconstruction in mind. Secondhand material markets collect, make inventories and mediate building materials saved from being thrown to the landfill. However, reusing building materials is still a niche phenomenon in the overall construction industry, mainly because of the high labour costs involved in deconstruction and the relative cheapness of new resources, but also due to the complicated logistics of shifting materials from demolition to construction site. This workshop took place at University of Fribourg on October 19-21 brough together 10 researchers from different countries to present and discuss their research results on circular construction practices. We thank Samuel Holden, Barbara Lambec, Nicholas Lynch, Julie Marin, Deepika Mathur, Cristina Moretti, Ankita Singhvi and Francesco Vettori for contributing to rich discussions by presenting their research on the subject.
October 6, 2023

Keynote speech at the 13th Green Building Summit

Adam Przywara participated online as a keynote speaker at the 13th Green Building Summit “Building (R)evolution” at Business Garden Warsaw. The organiser of this event is the Polish Green Building Council (Polskie Stowarzyszenie Budownictwa Ekologicznego).
October 3, 2023

Roundtable discussion at ETH Zürich

Adam Przywara participated in a roundtable discussion within the exhibition “Doors to Ukraine. Designing for Urgency” at ETH Zürich. The exhibition had been organized by the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (gta), Philip Ursprung Chair and gta exhibitions.
September 21, 2023

Costruire il lavoro di campo dentro e con l’impresa: accesso, negoziazioni, opportunità

Elena Sischarenco participated at the 4th National Congress SIAC (Italian Society of Cultural Anthropology) “Il ritorno del sociale” at Sapienza Università di Roma. There she presented her work "Costruire il lavoro di campo dentro e con l’impresa: accesso, negoziazioni, opportunità" (Building fieldwork within and with the company: access, negotiations, opportunities)
September 13, 2023

Poster presentation at CISBAT "The Built Environment in Transition"

Madlen Kobi participated in the CISBAT “The Built Environment in Transition” Conference organized by the Smart Living Lab (EPFL, Fribourg University and University of Applied Sciences and Architecture Fribourg) which took place on the EPFL campus in Lausanne from September 13-15, 2023. She presented a paper and poster on "Human Energy. An Anthropological Perspective on Labour and Skills in Circular Construction” which she co-authored with Elena Sischarenco and Vanessa Feri. The paper outlines that through the use of human skills and knowledge, energy is mobilised to evaluate, document, dismantle, design, store, transport, and construct with materials. The anthropological approach focuses on people and services instead of treating materials and technologies as independent from the workforce handling them. The results also underline the complexity and diversity of opinions regarding the value of labour in relation to overall project costs.
September 12, 2023

(in)visible reuse - Research Symposium

Adam Przywara participated at the "(in)visible reuse - Research Symposium" organised by the Structural Xploration Lab, EPFL. There he presented his paper titled “Reinventing the wheel? Constructing an integrated historical perspective on material reuse in architecture".
August 31, 2023

Workshop War Diaries: Ecologies of Post-War Reconstruction

Adam Przywara participated at an international workshop in preparation of the volume “War Diaries: Ecologies of Post-War Reconstruction” at KTH Stockholm. He presented the chapter “Practice and knowledge of ruderal ecology in the postwar reconstruction of Warsaw”. The workshop had been organised by Professor Elisa Dainese and Professor Aleksandar Staničić. Photo caption: Wojskowa Agencja Fotograficzna, National Digital Archive, Poland.
June 26, 2023

Article in the Annual Report 2022 of the University of Fribourg

Our research project was presented in the Annual Report 2022 of University of Fribourg as one of two projects from the Faculty of Humanities.
June 24, 2023

Input at HSLU Master Design Symposium

Vanessa Feri had been invited as a speaker to present her MA thesis from 2022 about the reuse of roof tiles and her current PhD research among Swiss architect's practices related to reuse. At the intersection between design, architecture and anthropology, Vanessa Feri highlights the importance of long-term ethnography, collaboration and storytelling in research as well as in the ideation and implementation of solutions. The following panel discussion debated the major design challenges of our time and how designers can act as change agents.
June 7, 2023

Moderation of the discussion "Design Objects in a Time of Crisis" at the London Design Biennale 2023 (Somerset House, London)

Adam Przywara moderated a discussion with Zofia Jaworowska (co-curator of the Poland pavilion) and Valentyna Vasylieva (co-designer of the Ukraine pavilion) at the London Design Biennale 2023. The topic of the discussion was: What value does a window, a pot or a chair have to us? When we’re not amidst physical crisis or emotional upheaval, we may never realise the meaning and value of such everyday objects, and how they can become personal lifelines and symbols of resistance and solidarity. This panel deliberated the changing resonance of everyday objects during times of crisis and whether learnings from design responses to the crisis can be reapplied during times of safety.
June 6, 2023

Guest lecture at Labas, University of Messina "La realtà ha sempre più fantasia: imprese italiane dinamiche"

During her stay as Visiting Researcher at the University of Messina and the Laboratorio di Antropologia Sociale, Elena Sischarenco presented and discussed her research about Italian companies under the title "La realtà ha sempre più fantasia: imprese italiane dinamiche".
June 1, 2023

Polish Pavilion "Poetics of Necessity" at London Design Biennale 2023

This year the Polish Pavilion at the London Design Biennale was curated by initiators of the OKNO project: Zofia Jaworowska (BRDA Foundation), Petro Vladimirov, as well as architect Michał Sikorski (TŁO architects). The pavilion titled “Poetics of Necessity” presented the international networks of collaboration supporting wartime reconstruction in Ukraine by supplying used PVC windows reclaimed from demolition and renovation sites in Poland (BRDA Foundation) and Switzerland (Re-Win Foundation). The pavilion was recognised as an outstanding contribution to the London Design Biennale 2023 and awarded the Golden Medal. During his fieldwork, Urban Bricolage-researcher Adam Przywara has been working with BRDA Foundation, actively participating in the OKNO project and investigating the process of reclamation, logistics and reuse of windows in the wartime reconstruction of Ukraine.
May 26, 2023

Guest presentation "Reuse in Practice" at Department of Built Environment, Aalborg University

Madlen presented her research at the meeting of the research group "Transformation of Housing and Places" at the Department of the Built Environment at Aalborg University, Copenhagen Campus. The research group led by Marie Stender generously hosts Madlen for a 2-month guest research stay in May and June 2023 where she benefits from the local researchers' experiences in interdisciplinary research on urban issues, housing and construction.
April 28, 2023

Guest lecture at EPFL Architecture

Madlen Kobi was invited to give a guest lecture on "Reuse in Practice" in the frame of the course «Beyond Extraction and Construction» organized by Dr. Kim Förster. After outlining different forms of reuse in architecture, she brought examples from her research project about how materials circulate from the demolition to the construction site. The idea was to broaden the perspective of architecture students towards seeing reuse as bringing change for many construction-related professionals beyond architects.
April 18, 2023

Roundtable "Bauen im Bestand. Verstehen, Erhalten, Umbauen, Umnutzen, Wiederverwenden"

Madlen Kobi was invited to the Cradle to Cradle events series organized by Quadrat Zollikofen to present and discuss her research with Pascal Angehrn (in situ) and Olivier de Perrot (salza). The conversation (in German) evolved around the challenges when reusing individual building components in architecture
April 18, 2023

Workshop "Zwischen Archiv und Feld"

Madlen Kobi and Adam Przywara have submitted a first draft on circularity and reuse in architecture for a Special Issue on "Zwischen Feld und Archiv", edited by Monika Dommann and Lena Kaufmann. The Special Issue will appear in "Zeithistorische Forschungen" and addresses the fruitful interaction that ethnographic and historical approaches can generate when standing in a dialogue on research related to infrastructure, technologies and material culture. In the kick-off workshop on April 18 at the University of Zürich, the first draft was constructively discussed by the other article contributors.
April 14, 2023

Team visit to Warsaw

The "Urban Bricolage"-team visited Warsaw to see the recently opened exhibition "Warsaw 1945-1949. Rising from Rubble" at Museum of Warsaw which was curated by team member Adam Przywara. The show outlines the labour and technologies that were necessary to clean the city from rubble after World War II and the many forms of the built environment where pieces of the destroyed houses regained life.
March 30, 2023

Exhibition "Warsaw 1945-1949. Rising from Rubble"

This exhibition at the Museum of Warsaw and it will be open from March 30 to September 3, 2023. Curated by Adam Przywara, the exhibition offers a new perspective on the myth of the postwar reconstruction of the Polish capital city and one of the most interesting pages in its history.
February 6, 2023

Podcasting Workshop in Fribourg

The "Urban Bricolage"-team invited Thomas Burkhalter (audiovisual anthropologist) for a workshop to learn the crafts of podcasting for anthropologist. We are now motivated to experiment with reuse sounds to produce our own podcast! We'll keep you updated once it's published...
February 1, 2023

Field Visit to the collective housing project Doma Habitare, Ste-Croix

Madlen Kobi and Vanessa Feri received a guided tour and discussed with Daniel Béguin (co-founder of the housing project) the challenges and opportunities in self-construction with reused and renewable building materials.
January 10, 2023

Guest lecture at the Institute colloquium of the Institut für Europäische Ethnologie, Humboldt Universität Berlin

Madlen Kobi held a guest lecture on "Thinking Through Buildings: Doing Research on Urban Living at the Intersection of Anthropology and Architecture". This talk highlighted the epistemological and heuristic role of buildings in the study of urban societies. By outlining the contours of a contemporary architectural anthropology, Madlen Kobi discussed how thinking through the material textures of the city (including resources, forms, technologies, materials) opens a rich ground for studying urban living.
November 11, 2022

Panel "Anthropology and Business: Engagement and Co-Production of Knowledge" at the Annual Meeting of the Swiss Anthropological Association in Neuchâtel

Madlen Kobi and Elena Sischarenco organized this panel to enquire into the giving and taking that anthropologists practice when working on and in companies, including business entities ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises to large transnational corporations. Conducting fieldwork in such institutions generates knowledge on topics such as human relations in a work environment, the relation between companies and territories (the local and the global), the influence of the cultural context on businesses, human-material relations, socio-technical innovation, design issues or organizational structures. Papers were presented by Lena Kaufmann, Atak Ayaz and Sergio Marchetti
October 24, 2022

Roundtable "Urban Bricolage 1", Archizoom, EPFL

Round table on the occasion of the exhibition "Ultimate Matter" at Archizoom, EPFL. The theme of material reuse has recently emerged in architecture schools and has gained momentum in a short period of time. Curricula and research programmes continue to adapt to this new paradigm. The discussion addresses issues such as continuing education, the need to move away from bricolage aesthetics to see reuse develop on a larger scale, the development of new standards adapted to reuse, etc. With Prof. Dr. Madlen Kobi (Social Anthropology Unit, University of Fribourg), Guillaume de Morsier (Kunik de Morsier architectes), Célia Kupfer (EPFL Architect, Doctoral Assistant, Structural Xploration Lab), Mélodie Rey (EPFL Engineer, Real Estate Development at Brick AG), Introduction and moderation: Corentin Fivet (Professor, Structural Xploration Lab, EPFL)
October 12, 2022

circularXchange '22, Vienna, european network meeting on circular design & architecture

The urban bricolage team collaborated with materialnomaden gmbh to organize this three-day workshop on circulaXchange. The aim was to connect architecture and design offices from all over Europe that are involved in re:use and circular building cultures. The workshop enabled the exchange on working methods, technological innovations and digital platforms based on specific buildings and projects.
September 30, 2022

Exhibition visit

Team excursion to the exhibition "Die Schweiz. Ein Abriss" at Swiss Architecture Museum Basel which was curated by Countdown 2030. Our team member Vanessa Feri who is member of Countdown 2030 was at that day present in the museum to guide visitors. Based on the impressive number of around 500kg of construction waste that gets discarded every second in Switzerland, we discussed different building cultures in European and post-Soviet contexts with Zarina Urmanbaetova from the Social Anthropology Unit in Fribourg and guest researcher Oksana Ovsiiuk from Ukraine.
September 23, 2022

Gastvortrag zur Wiederverwendung von Bauteilen an der Hochschule Luzern Design & Kunst, Studiengang Spatial Design

Vanessa Feri held a guest lecture on the reuse of building materials at the Hochschule Luzern. The input was given to spatial design students who had to create a small-scale architecture project with second-hand materials from Offcut Luzern. Part of the presentation was my master thesis, recent reuse projects and the basic principles of design with and for reuse.
September 7, 2022

International Workshop 2022 on Environmental Justice, Bern

Madlen Kobi presented a paper at the EnJust Workshop in Berne on "Circular Economy and Environmental Justice: Opposing climate injustices through reusing building materials in Europe" where she discussed how environmental injustices are inscribed in the production, circulation, taxation and consumption of resources and materials.
July 27, 2022

Participation at EASA 2022 (European Association of Social Anthropologists) in Belfast

Madlen Kobi and Elena Sischarenco presented papers at the Biannual Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists in panel 6 on "Logistical Transformations: Supply Chains and the Politics of Circulation" (organized by Vinzenz Baumer Escobar, Hege Leivestad, Johanna Markkula)
May 4, 2022

Guest Lecture with Peter Kneidinger (materialnomaden) on "Reusing Building Materials (Circularity)"

Madlen Kobi and Peter Kneidinger from materialnomaden (Austria) held a guest lecture in the frame of the seminar "Sustainable Design. A Workshop Series" by Sascha Roesler, Lorenzo Stieger and Julian Raffetseder at the Accademia di Architettura, Università della Svizzera Italiana. This workshop addressed the urgency for a careful handling of our building stock by bringing examples for how to search for, store, design and integrate re:used materials in architecture and industrial processes. Students were choosing a building on or around the campus to assess its materiality and identify reuse components based on criteria such as material quality, deconstruction and reuse potential.
November 16, 2021

Alte Steine, neues Haus. Wie kann die Energie beim Bauen eingespart werden?

Vanessa Feri and Andreas Haug from Countdown2030 gave a presentation on reuse at the Architekturforum Zürich.

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Podcast

Ausgedient? - Gespräche über Abfälle

Dieser Podcast entstand im Rahmen des Seminars "Abfallanthropologie und Kreislaufwirtschaft" an der Universität Fribourg im Herbstsemester 2023. Die Episoden zu unterschiedlichen Themen wurden von den Studierenden erstellt.
Listen to the Podcast
Dieser Podcast entstand im Rahmen des Seminars "Abfallanthropologie und Kreislaufwirtschaft" an der Universität Fribourg im Herbstsemester 2023. Die Episoden zu unterschiedlichen Themen wurden von den Studierenden erstellt.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

2022-12-08 1:00
Podcast

Bauteilbörse Syphon

Vanessa Feri
Wie funktioniert die Bauteilbörse? Welche Kund:innen interessieren sich für die Bauteilwiederverwendung? In dieser Folge besucht Vanessa Feri die Bauteilbörse Syphon in Biel und spricht mit Geschäftsführerin Karin Sidler.
Listen to the Podcast
Wie funktioniert die Bauteilbörse? Welche Kund:innen interessieren sich für die Bauteilwiederverwendung? In dieser Folge besucht Vanessa Feri die Bauteilbörse Syphon in Biel und spricht mit Geschäftsführerin Karin Sidler.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

2023-01-04 14:48
Video

Secondhand wood arriving at Sägewerk Schuh (Vienna)

Madlen Kobi
Unloading 7 tons of Dippelbäume deconstructed from Gründerzeithäuser in Vienna
Watch the Video
Unloading 7 tons of Dippelbäume deconstructed from Gründerzeithäuser in Vienna
2022-11-03 1:00
Publication

The Spectacle of the Chinese City

Special Issue in Visual Studies
Madlen Kobi / Dennis Zuev
Special Issue on "The Spectacle of the Chinese City: Urban Atmospheres, the Built Environment and Everyday Practices" in the journal Visual Studies
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2024-03-05 8:49
Publication

Prepared to Face the Unexpected

Dynamic Enterprises in Italy as a Model of Resilience
Elena Sischarenco
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in medium-sized manufacturing companies in Emilia, Northern Italy, from June to November 2021, Elena investigates ideas and characteristics that shed light on good practices, key ingredients of the success of such companies, and possible future models of resilience.
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2024-01-15 13:49
Publication

Human Energy

An Anthropological Perspective on Labour and Skills in Circular Construction
Madlen Kobi, Elena Sischarenco, Vanessa Feri
The circulation of used building components is performed through human labour such as assessment, logistics, design, and (de-)construction. This paper analyses different kinds of human energy employed in the process of moving building components from demolition to construction sites for reuse.
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2023-12-03 20:34
Publication

Von Pionieren der Kreislaufwirtschaft lernen

Ein ethnografischer Forschungsbericht zur Wiederverwendung von Bauteilen in der Schweiz
Vanessa Feri
Dieser Forschungsbericht gibt Einblicke in den Alltag verschiedener Berufsgruppen, die in der Schweiz mit wiederverwendeten Bauteilen arbeiten.
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2023-11-24 9:54
Publication

Merkblatt Wiederverwendung von Bauteilen

Angst, M.; Feri, V; Oefner, A.; Ott, C.; Streiff, O.; Zoller-Eckenstein, A.
Dieses Merkblatt dient als Leitfaden für Baufachleute und Auftraggebende. Es bündelt das aus der Pioniertätigkeit gewonnene Wissen zu Leistungen und Prozessen der Wiederverwendung von Bauteilen und erklärt, welche wesentlichen rechtlichen Aspekte dabei zu berücksichtigen sind.
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2023-10-23 8:00
Publication

R for Rubble

Adam Przywara
"R for Rubble" is a chapter in "Wastiary, or Bestiary of Waste". The book is a creative exercise that occupies letters, numbers, and symbols of Western academic language to compose a list of 35 short entries on the uncomfortable but pressing topic of waste in the contemporary world.
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2023-07-03 14:08
Publication

Taking Rubble into our own Hands

Interview with Andrii Kopylenko (District #1 Foundation, Kyiv)
Adam Przywara
For the exhibition catalogue of the Polish Pavillon at the London Design Biennale titled “Poetics of Necessity,” Adam interviewed Andrii Kopylenko, the co-founder of District #1 Foundation, the main collaborator of the BRDA Foundation in Ukraine.
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2023-06-07 13:52
Publication

Being an Entrepreneur and Feeling Vulnerable

Encountering Fragility in the Construction Business in the North of Italy
Elena Sischarenco
Through my informants’ narratives, daily situations and thoughts, I challenge stereotypes linked to power and show how my informants often feel vulnerable. How do they try to cope with the always present risk of their job and with unstable market conditions which make them more vulnerable?
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2018-12-16 8:00
Publication

Encountering Entrepreneurs

An Ethnography of the Construction Business in the North of Italy
The book is a unique ethnographic account of the world of small-medium construction businesses in Northern Italy.
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2019-04-10 8:00
Publication

Ressourcen­wechsel

Designkriterien für eine umsetzbare Wiederverwendung von Bauteilen in der Architektur
Vanessa Feri
In this master's thesis, Vanessa Feri investigated the reuse of building components in architecture using ethnographic research approaches. She explored this topic from a behavioral-psychological perspective and developed strategies which valorize used building material.
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2023-03-06 14:40
Publication

Constructing Cityscapes

Materiality, Spatiality and Territoriality on the Construction Site in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Madlen Kobi
Urbanization in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Northwest China) has gained momentum in the last three decades. The Chinese government supports infrastructure development in this border region and construction sites have been emerging everywhere....
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2023-02-06 3:15
Publication

Architecture and/as Infrastructure

Madlen Kobi and Nadine Plachta
Architecture, the process of designing, constructing, and inhabiting buildings and public spaces, relies on infrastructure. And infrastructure, the material components and social connections that provide foundational services for citizens, depends on architecture....
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2022-11-17 1:00
Publication

The Open Cut

Mining, Transnational Corporations and the Commons
Madlen Kobi
Mining played a crucial role in the establishment of neo-liberal policies during a phase of historically low metal prices in the 1990s. The subsequent push of the ‘frontier of extraction’ into ever remoter regions was just one expression of the expansion of corporate power...
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2023-03-01 14:42
Publication

Chinesische Wege des Bauschutts

Sozialanthropologische Perspektiven auf das Recycling von Baumaterialien im urbanen China
Madlen Kobi
Construction waste and rubble are socially and materially embedded in China’s urbanization process. Demolition sites have become omnipresent parts of cityscapes, and the construction industry contributes to the growth of the Chinese economy in significant ways....
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2022-11-24 0:55

SUBPROJECTS

The four team members investigate reuse activities in four European countries (Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Poland). Each subproject ethnographically investigates selected stages of the circular economy through the practices, techniques, and knowledge of the involved actors. This expands existing approaches in circular reuse activities with a detailed understanding of the human energy involved in moving and reusing building components.

Each national context is complemented with a focus on one of four key sites in the reuse circle: reuse company, demolition site, architectural office, and construction site. The team members work on one site, to generate knowledge about the place-specific practices and human–material relationships.


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Reuse Logistics. Human Skills and Labour when Moving Materials from Demolition to Construction Site

Madlen Kobi
This research project focuses on human-material relations in reuse logistics.
More about this Project

Demolition Site Ethnography in Northern Italy

Elena Sischarenco
This subproject analyzes the practices of demolition companies in Northern Italy and their role in recycling and reusing building materials.
More about this Project

Learning from Circular Pioneers: Architectural processes, social relationships, and transforming roles when reusing building components

Vanessa Feri
Based on ethnographic fieldwork among architectural practitioners and reuse specialist planners in Switzerland, this subproject enquires the manifold ways in which reuse changes existing processes and way of collaborating.
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A Window on the Circular Economy: Transnational Logistics of Building Material Reuse Supporting the Reconstruction of Ukraine

Adam Przywara
This subproject analyzes the logistics of reused windows for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
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Teachings

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CUSO-Workshop "Urban Political Ecology in the Anthropocene. Scrutinizing Human-Environment Relationships in the Contemporary City"

Research in urban anthropology has long focused on topics such as multiculturality, migration, citizenship, interethnic coexistence or public space use. Recent trends in the subdiscipline go beyond these human-centered approaches as urban life has become the epitome for challenges related to the Anthropocene and global climate change. Desires of urban living (e.g. air-conditioning, car ownership, electronic devices, food provision) come along with an ecological footprint. Anthropologists have engaged, for example, with waste and environmental pollution, carbon emissions, infrastructural inequalities, urban heat or urban floods but also with the ways in which activists develop alternatives to environmental challenges. All these studies critically engage with the intersection of society, environment, and infrastructures in cities. They also re-emphasize the intertwined relations of city and countryside as urban areas depend on the continuous flow of resources from rural areas to sustain the workings and built structures of the city. Power relations and governance define access, distribution and quality of infrastructural services in the fields of electricity, transportation, or housing. While resources from outside are consumed in the city, emissions and pollutions of urban activities often spread beyond urban areas. This workshop entitled "Urban Political Ecology and the Anthropocene. Scrutinizing Human-Environment Relationships in the Contemporary City" explores human-environment relations in the contemporary city with a particular focus on power relations when responding to ecological challenges related to climate, water, plants, biosphere and resources. Rather than separating society from nature, urban political ecology assumes urban environments to be formed by the social, political and economic context. Anthropological approaches are apt to outline the complex and stratified ways in which urban society affects and interacts with the ecologies surrounding them. Investigating everyday social practices and institutional responses to environmental challenges outlines the varied ways in which people from different places and with different social status contribute to or are affected by the Anthropocene.

Workshop for PhD-students in the frame of the Swiss Graduate Program in Anthropology CUSO
Madlen Kobi
March 14-15, 2024
Schloss Ueberstorf
Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Stadt als Lebenswelt

Die Stadtanthropologie wurde in den letzten Jahrzehnten durch die global stattfindende Urbanisierung zu einem bedeutenden Forschungsfeld für unsere Disziplin. Immer mehr Menschen leben in Städten und aktuelle Debatten zu Überwachung, Gentrifizierung, Bankenkrise, Staatsbürgerschaft, Migration oder Deindustrialisierung sind eng mit urbanen Transformationen verknüpft. In diesem Seminar beschäftigen wir uns mit dem Zusammenleben in urbanen Räumen und wie Macht, Ungleichheit und ökonomische Interessen in die gebaute Umwelt und in städtische Infrastrukturen einfliessen. Wir diskutieren nicht nur, wie Stadtbewohner:innen zwischen privaten und öffentlichen sowie offenen und geschlossenen Räumen navigieren, sondern wie die Stadt von unterschiedlichen Menschen «gemacht» wird. Es sind die alltäglichen Handlungen von Berufsgruppen aus den Bereichen Stadtverwaltung, Gebäudeunterhalt, Bausektor, Verkauf oder Quartiersorganisation welche städtische Räume kontinuierlich gestalten. Link zum Podcast des Seminars: https://soundcloud.com/mad-len-648307818/sets/anstadt-andere-blicke-auf-die

Beschrieb im Vorlesungsverzeichnis
BA-Seminar "Die Stadt als soziale Lebenswelt. Urbanität, Raum und Macht aus sozialanthropologischer Perspektive"
Madlen Kobi
Herbstsemester 2023
Universität Fribourg, Einheit für Sozialanthropologie
Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Built Communities. Urban Architecture and the Materiality of Social Life

Social communities and cultural identities do not only emerge out of relations of kinship, friendship or shared ideas, but they are fundamentally lived and structured through the built environment. Form, decoration, use, construction and building materials are closely linked to the social, symbolic, economic and technical context of their emergence. In this block seminar, we will engage with the ways in which residential and other buildings in urban spaces partake in shaping our societies. Aspects such as ethnicity, economic status, gender or age influence our perception and navigation in urban spaces. But also state power and politics manifest in and through the urban environment. Small fieldworks in Fribourg will be the basis for the student projects to be delivered at the end of the block seminar.

MA-Seminar
Madlen Kobi
Frühlingssemester 2023
University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Abfallanthropologie und Kreislaufwirtschaft

Abfall als kultureller Ausdruck vom Wert materieller Dinge verrät uns einiges über die sozialen Beziehungen und den infrastrukturellen Umgang mit Objekten. Als Folge industrialisierter und urbanisierter Gesellschaften stellen sich zudem ökologische Fragen zur Lagerung von abgebrannten Brennstäben aus Atomkraftwerken, zum Umgang mit Formationswasser bei der Erdölförderung oder zur Wiederverwendung von Bauschutt. Wir nähern uns in dieser Veranstaltung dem praktischen Umgang mit „wertlosen“ Dingen und den damit verbundenen Warenströmen. Dabei untersuchen wir, inwiefern die Idee der Kreislaufwirtschaft eine Lösung des Abfallproblems darstellen kann. Neben der Aufarbeitung von Grundlagenliteratur zu Abfall und Infrastruktur in unterschiedlichen geographischen und kulturellen Kontexten werden die Studierenden in kleinen Feldforschungen Podcasts zu unterschiedlichen Abfallthemen erstellen. Studierende haben als Abschluss des Seminars den Podcast "Ausgedient? - Gespräche über Abfälle" erstellt:

Link zum Podcast "Ausgedient? - Gespräche über Abfälle"
BA/MA-Seminar
Madlen Kobi
Herbstsemester 2022
Unit of Social Anthropology, University of Fribourg
Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Mobile Objects: Re-Using Building Materials from a Cross-Cultural Perspective

This seminar inquires from a theoretical and cross-cultural perspective into the diverse motives and contexts where building materials are being reused in architecture. Construction materials move between rural and urban, between local and regional as well as between old and new houses. An analysis of these spatial networks provides site-specific insights into the relationships between builders, techniques, materials and objects. In times of resource shortage and environmental crisis, architects have to take seriously their role in minimizing the ecological footprint. At the same time, the social and architectural motivations and objectives why building materials are being reused go beyond ecological considerations. Reusing materials often emerges along with a careful consideration of local building techniques. It further has implications on the design practice where the available materials are the starting point.

Seminar
Madlen Kobi
Herbstsemester 2018
Università della Svizzera Italiana, Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio
Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Collab­o­ra­tion

Quadrat Zollikofen
#cradletocradle – Der Gedanke der Kreislaufwirtschaft treibt uns an.
quadrat.ch
cirkla
Der Verein Cirkla ist der Verband aller Akteur*innen der Wiederverwendung. Organisationen, Firmen, die öffentliche Hand und Private bündeln ihre Energien und bringen Nachfrage, Angebot und Knowhow zusammen.
cirkla.ch
EnJust - Environmental Justice Network
The aim of the EnJust-Network is to promote exchange between research, politics, economy and civil society. The current transformation compels us to listen to and to learn from each other. Environmental and climate justice issues are complex. Therefore, we believe it is necessary to be attentive to different perspectives and, by building on them, to look for common ground and justice in our interpretations.
enjust.net
Roadsides
Roadsides – a scholar-led, collectively managed platinum Open Access journal designated to be a forum devoted to exploring the social, cultural and political life of infrastructure.
roadsides.net
Thomas Burkhalter, Norient
Anthropologist/ethnomusicologist, AV-artist, and writer from Bern
norient.com
OKNO. BRDA Foundation
Windows for Ukraine
fundacjabrda.org
zirkular
Zirkular. Ihr Planungsbüro für das Bauen im Kreislauf
zirkular.net
Structural Xploration Lab
Uniting architecture and structural design, we are paving the way for the upcycling reuse of load-bearing components in buildings, hence contributing to the adoption of a circular economy by the construction industry.
Structural-Xploration-Lab
materialnomaden
materialnomaden bieten Expertise zu Architektur, Stadtplanung, Baudurchführung und Restaurierung, Kunst und Design, sowie Tragwerksplanung und angeleitetem Selbstbau. Mit dieser Pionierarbeit setzen wir wichtige Entwicklungsschritte, um kreislauffähige Prozesse in der Baubranche voranzutreiben.
www.materialnomaden.at
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Contact

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Prof. Dr. Madlen Kobi

Universität Freiburg
Departement für Sozialwissenschaften

Einheit für Sozialanthropologie

Bd. de Pérolles 90
1700 Fribourg
Switzerland

madlen.kobi@unifr.ch

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Impressum

Prof. Dr. Madlen Kobi

Universität Freiburg
Sozialanthropologie

Departement für Sozialwissenschaften

Bd. de Pérolles 90
1700 Fribourg
Switzerland

madlen.kobi@unifr.ch

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Impressum

Prof. Dr. Madlen Kobi

Universität Freiburg
Sozialanthropologie

Departement für Sozialwissenschaften

Bd. de Pérolles 90
1700 Fribourg
Switzerland

madlen.kobi@unifr.ch

Haftungsausschluss

urbanbricolage.ch übernimmt keinerlei Gewähr für die Richtigkeit, Genauigkeit, Aktualität, Zuverlässigkeit und Vollständigkeit der bereitgestellten Informationen.
Haftungsansprüche gegen urbanbricolage.ch wegen Schäden materieller oder immaterieller Art, welche aus dem Zugriff oder der Nutzung bzw. Nichtnutzung der veröffentlichten Informationen, durch Missbrauch der Verbindung oder durch technische Störungen entstanden sind, werden ausgeschlossen.
Alle Angebote sind freibleibend und unverbindlich. urbanbricolage.ch behält es sich ausdrücklich vor, Teile der Seiten oder das gesamte Angebot ohne gesonderte Ankündigung zu verändern, zu ergänzen, zu löschen oder die Veröffentlichung zeitweise oder endgültig einzustellen.

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