George Brandon, Stephanie Lewis , Matthew Magee, Daniel Reid

Trash Haus Community

Ever-increasing urban populations, excessive consumerism habits, and the subsequent ‘throwaway culture’ has caused the issue of household waste to become a key challenge of the 21st century.


With current methods of household waste management relying heavily on high energy industrial-scale operations – resulting in increased landfill, waste incineration, or mass-waste export overseas – it is evident that change is needed.

Trash Lab

If sustainability can be defined as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs’, then the extract-produce-use-dump material and energy flow model of the current system simply isn’t sustainable.

This thesis seeks to explore the design, performative, and social potentials of alternative, localised, and community-led methods of household waste recovery in favour of the current, exhausted industrial processes.

Parasitic Urbanism Exploded Axonometric

The thesis therefore proposes the design of communities centred around the processes of recycling waste; ‘closed-loop’ resource management; and the reuse of recovered materials.

Through a critique of current arrangements of dwellings and settlements, as well as applying a philosophy of living around the idea of waste, new opportunities and constraints can be presented to adapt the ways of living familiar to us today, whilst ultimately reforming communities of the future.

The response is a phased system informed by pre-existing environmental targets that creates a new all-encompassing vision, ultimately concluding with the final proposal –Trash Haus.

Dynamic Model

The first phase of the project introduces a ‘plug-in’ approach of integrated waste processing systems embedded within existing housing typologies and traditional lifestyle trends, with support provided by a network of fixed and kinetic infrastructures that accommodates the reuse of recovered materials.

The continual supply of household waste by means of these parasitic urbanisms to the community craftspace – Trash Lab – is the primary means of processing locally gathered waste and provides material required for the eventual construction of Trash Haus.

Trash Lab

With the inception of Phase 2, Trash Haus seeks to seamlessly integrate the processing of household waste. A reinterpretation of traditional household spaces into the relative activities allows for a hierarchical reorganisation that optimally supports the systems required to efficiently process waste material into craftable components for use within the new closed-loop community.

The organisation of individual Trash Haus units into a terrace arrangement generates a shared ground level colonnade – the Maker’s Corridor, that promotes social interaction through the crafting and trading of household waste material, generating a heightened sense of community.

Thesis Tutors

Dr Rosa Urbano Gutierrez
Ms Johanna Muszbek

Thesis Critics

Professor Soumyen Bandyopadhyay
Neil Swanson
Ian Ritchie

Special Mentions

Special thanks to our thesis tutors Rosa Urbano Gutierrez and Johanna Muszbek for their knowledge and endless support throughout this project