Eco Reduxassembles an unexplored genealogy of ecological material experiments that underground architectural groups conducted in the 1960s and 1970s. The research project documents a larger disciplinary transformation and an experimental mindset in the finale of the 1960s, reporting the displacement of 'building' as the main product of architectural design. All imaginable provisional structures and small-scale strategies –pneumatics from used parachutes, hand-made domes from discarded materials, electronic-lawn carpets, pills, capsules and self-sufficient systems, garbage houses, foam shelters- became part of new equation that reflected the intense socio-political concerns of the time and the collective fantasizing about how new technologies can become remedial tools to save the planet.

Parallel to the presentation of a historical archive that maps visually and verbally the trajectory of small-scale ecological strategies, EcoRedux explores the remarkable contemporary resurgence of ecological strategies in architectural imagination: it features new interpretations and ecological strategies of the historical material in the form of diagrams, drawings, animations, interviews with the architects, computer codes, cookbooks and instruction manuals. Overall, EcoRedux seeks tentative connections with an “elastic” understanding of “ecology,” in a time where the term addressed not only “new naturalism” and techno-scientific standards, but also systems theory: a recirculatory understanding of the world and its resources.

EcoRedux online is an educational open-source tool that amasses
a substantial database of ecological material experiments and their
ramifications in architectural design with a dual function: first as a tool to explore the history of the period, but also as a pedagogical tool for design. Given, the open source nature of the project, architects and designers are able to actively participate in the expansion of the website by submitting for upload their own interpretations of ecological experiments that are documented in the database. In this sense, we view this project as an expanding,
growing resource: a wikipedia for designers to expand their knowledge and trigger new ecological projects.

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Lydia Kallipoliti

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