Evolution of residue semantics

Project Memory published at TGRAF ISEC Lisboa Research Center

Postgraduate in Management and Communication of an Applied Design Project - Mention in Research


Part of the evident environment deterioration is resulted from the human negligence. As an example of that lack of sustainable and social culture, most of the products we fabricate and use, follow a linear lifetime model, ending up as what we call ´waste´ when their lifespan ends. This means that products have not being designed wisely from the start, nor wisely ´disposed of´, causing negative consequences some of them being social and environmental. Nevertheless, a response to those impacts has been shown as, for example, the linear model is now being replaced by the circular design process, meaning that product leftovers are given an opportunity to serve another purpose. Ideally, not generating waste would be the solution but, given the acceleration of technologies and tendencies growth, this becomes a hardly possible task. Therefore, the proposal idea is then, to work along with what we are already provided: waste. But why are the ´unused´ leftovers of a product called waste if they can be used again? What is waste then? The intention of this research is to demonstrate that there is a possibility to repurpose waste and as a result, reformulate its meaning. This will be used as a tool to raise awareness and encourage new design approaches as well as to prove that any material residue can be reintegrated into the circular design process by leveraging its own natural properties. There are several ways to perform and fulfill the goal and so for this project the approach is near directed to gathering design outputs in form of what we currently describe as waste and then reuse, transform, domesticate, and/or enhance it. As we will end-up turning resources into products and the waste of those products into resources, the word ´waste´ will gain a different meaning, design semantics might need to update in terms of what it is left of a product.