Tapping into Urban Recycling for Low-cost Building Alternatives: Experimenting with Waste Cardboard Reuse in Architecture
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The work presented in this paper is part of a research that explores upcycling waste corrugated cardboard into building components. The research focuses on developing countries where there is a vast low- income population that needs housing but who find standard construction systems unaffordable. The research involves observational studies on the work of cardboard pickers in Paraguay seeking to understand the cycle of waste cardboard in the local context; development of digital tools to design building parts with waste cardboard and generate their fabrication instructions; hands-on work in an academic setting prototyping and testing building parts; and experimenting with the building system in the target context through workshops. This article summarizes several lessons learned during a workshop developed with a group of waste cardboard collectors and discusses the potential alternatives to the shortcomings.