Bricks made of thrown-away rubbish, concrete blocks for facades that can generate electricity through photosynthetic dots, cladding that moves organically to respond to changes in daylight, a new material made from captured CO2, building materials made from mushroom mycelium, recycled oyster shells, husks of corn or reconstructed polystyrene, paint composed of natural lime (as it used to be in the past), clothes that can adjust as children grow at a face pace though their early years of fast growth, walking shoes that cleans the polluted air as the walker paces London streets and clothes covered in lichen that can absorb the nasty particles in the air that we breathe.
These are just some of the fascinating sustainability innovations on show in ‘Future Proof’ at Architect@Work which has moved from its previous location at Olympia in the west of London to the Old Truman Brewery in the very different area of Brick Lane with its multi-cultural environment and street art covering many of the nearby buildings. This is the real London! I assume the move is to gain more space and increase the number of exhibitors showing their own innovations, but perhaps looking east is also representative of future trade relations for the county post-Brexit. It was good to see however that, despite Brexit, there was a impressive array of companies here showing innovative ideas from different parts of the Europe, in addition to the UK, and even the USA.
The new venue, spread over two floors, has lost some of its previous logic in terms of layout, but I’m sure this can be worked out for future years. The display by World Architecture appeared to be smaller and less punchy, but the star was definitely ‘Future Proof’, plus the modern interpretation of the traditional Delft tulip vase by Studio Marten Aukes, sponsored by Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum whose ceramic glazing is used not only to protect ceramic cladding components, but restoration of a precious 17-storey flower pyramid in the Rijksmuseum.