ANOTHER PROJECT CALLED MONO

A three-dimensional Circuit

It’s no secret that the way we are currently dealing with electronic waste is problematic. There’s room for improvement not only in how we dispose of e-waste and recover valuable material from it, but especially in how we design products in the first place. This project is supposed to demonstrate an alternate way of designing and using electronics. Instead of being soldered inseparably onto a circuit board, here conductor, insulator, resistor and light bulb are designed for a quick and simple disassembly. This allows for the components to be separated into mono-materials. 

The structure of this basic, exemplary circuit allows electronic components and building components to become one. How could other electronic components be designed for disassembly? Which other possibilities lay within the exteriorization of electronics from the body housing of devices? And what are possible ways of integrating this extended building structure into our surroundings? With my project I would like to trigger these and other questions.






student:Anniek Timmermann
project:urban mining – urban tooling
year:2019

Generation Y

by Anna Freudenberg

Hey, you – what do you want your life to look like when you won’t be able to live on your own anymore? You’re probably not picturing it in a retirement home of today. But what about changing demographics? And what does all of this have to do with urban mining? A vision of the future:

Aah, that song. It must’ve been sometime around 2020 and they’d been out for the night, but Ben hadn’t wanted to go home just yet. Sitting on the bench, they listened to Lipa’s playlist, and it was when this song was playing that Ben had given Lipa an unexpected kiss. How cheesy, Lipa thought, and yet she was happy that the memory had come back to her. Lipa hadn’t heard this playlist in years, but her grandson had somehow managed to reactivate her old streaming account and had exported the playlist for her birthday. Curious thing how music had the capability of bringing back those old memories. Lipa could tell the others were enjoying the music as well, even though of course, they were engaged in their own daydreams. 

The music was what had been keeping Lipa going for two hours now. Originally she’d wanted to stop sorting an hour ago! The different piles of materials in front of Lipa were constantly growing. Peter, who was sitting next to her, didn’t have anything close to what she had, but that was because he kept on babbling about his knee problems and other things the others didn’t want to hear about. Lipa peered over to the corner next to the window. No one could ever beat Frankie. He rarely said a word and frankly Lipa couldn’t really tell what was going on in his mind – she was sure he had some kind of dementia. But the glow in Frankie’s eyes when he was disassembling! Clever how those electronic gadgets were designed nowadays. Compared to the time when Lipa was young, they were massive. This was due to the circumstance that electronic components, which were once soldered onto circuit boards, weren’t necessarily bound to the body housings of gadgets anymore. They had become “exteriorized” and often, they were part of the building structures and households. Lipa was disassembling a slightly battered lamp. Consisting of tubes, it was held together by a thread. With a snip, Lipa let the components fall into their individual parts. The conductor went onto the copper pile, and pulling apart the resistor she poured the insulating sand into a small container. It was rather easy to take the items apart and sort them into piles. 

Frankie was handling his somewhat worn scissors with ease. Lipa was rather impressed, perhaps even slightly attracted?

Oh – Sipan was calling from the bakery downstairs. Tea time. Lipa went over to the scale and measured her piles. 3,4 grams of silver, 1,3 grams of platinum and 15,3 grams of copper. Almost 35 Unos, that was about a good 80 Euros for about two hours of work! Funny how Lipa still converted Unos to Euros in her head each time.

Other things had changed quite a bit as well. Luckily for me, Lipa often thought, remembering the visits to the retirement home when she had gone to visit her own grandmother. Back then, she was horrified at the idea of getting old – not because of the age, but because of how the system was run. She’d felt back then that senior citizens were treated as an unwelcome byproduct of society. Fortunately, that attitude had changed over time. Slowly, younger generations had begun to see the capabilities and potential of the thousands of skilled and experienced people. In addition, people back then had quite a bit of time on their hands. That wasn’t really the case nowadays anymore, because pensions just no longer existed the way they once did. And back when costs for most metals had skyrocketed as the result of the emancipation of many developing countries, people had simply begun looking for other solutions. 

Many small projects had been brought into being. Most of them weren’t really making a massive impact on their own, but all together they were adding up in some sort of symbiotic way. To be honest, Lipa didn’t get it all – but next to earning herself some pocket money, she knew that being a part of a more responsible system in the handling of resources meant that she was doing something for the society she lived in. 

And if she didn’t feel like it, well, she wouldn’t do any sorting the next day. Tomorrow, she thought, I’m gonna sign up for reading to the kids. Secretly, though, Lipa’s ego had started pinching her. Someday, she was going to beat Frankie.

Many small projects had been brought into being. Most of them weren’t really making a massive impact on their own, but all together they were adding up in some sort of symbiotic way. To be honest, Lipa didn’t get it all – but next to earning herself some pocket money, she knew that being a part of a more responsible system in the handling of resources meant that she was doing something for the society she lived in. 

And if she didn’t feel like it, well, she wouldn’t do any sorting the next day. Tomorrow, she thought, I’m gonna sign up for reading to the kids. Secretly, though, Lipa’s ego had started pinching her. Someday, she was going to beat Frankie.