Over time, we adapt and change urban spaces according to our resources, knowledge, and needs. As cities grow and expand more and more swiftly, the building industry is still slow to change and, in the context of other human activities, is one of the most significant contributors to the negative effects of climate change. In order to reduce the negative impact on the planet, we need to fundamentally rethink the ways in which we design architecture and shape the environment.

Reusing or upcycling objects and materials is an increasingly common sustainable design strategy. When applied on a small scale, it remains an exceptional choice with more of a symbolic than practical impact. This leads to the following question: can we go a step further by applying the principles of circularity in architecture and aim for a systematic change in the design of the physical environment?

SODAS 2123 and Architektūros fondas invite architects, urban planners and researchers in related disciplines, developers, students and anyone with critical thinking and an aim to achieve practical change to a week-long series of workshops exploring the phenomena of urban mining, the reuse of materials in architecture, and the principles of circular economy in the context of Vilnius. Through workshops and educational activities, participants will delve into specific aspects of the geology and infrastructure of Vilnius, examine the current construction system and its actors, search for ways in which it could change, and try out methods of sustainable construction using local earth. The workshop will be led by architects from kuidas.works, BC Architects, ROTOR, and Isora x Lozuraityte Studio for Architecture.

More about the workshop lecturers:

kuidas.works – kuidas.works is a research-based design studio located in Tallinn, Estonia, founded in 2021. The main interest of kuidas.works are site-specific earth-based building solutions. The studio is currently investigating how to turn excavation waste into possible building materials from rammed earth and compressed earth blocks to plasters and paints.

BC Architects is a hybrid practice, designing and undertaking „acts of building“ towards systemic change in the construction sector. We strive for bio-regional, low-tech, circular, beautiful and inclusive design. We work with our minds and our hands, undertaking activities such as community organisation, material production, contracting, teaching and prototyping. We aim to impact positively on people’s ideas and have an influence on our planet. We act on behalf of future generations.

BC Architects was participating in the Biennale d’Architettura di Venezia 2018 and 2023, in the Oslo Triennale for Architecture in 2014 and 2019, and in the International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam 2018 and 2021, and is laureate of the BeCircular and Vlaanderen Circulair grant programmes.

Rotor, founded in Brussels in 2005, is a multidisciplinary design and research cooperative focused on material flows and reuse. Rotor fosters the debate on resources, waste, and obsolescence through research, exhibitions, conferences, and publications. On the practical side, Rotor actively coordinates large-scale dismantling operations and collaborates on architectural, interior, and urban design projects. In 2016, Rotor Deconstruction was established as an independent cooperative, specializing in salvaging and reselling building components. Rotor and Rotor DC employ over 30 individuals.

Isora x Lozuraityte studio for architecture was founded by architects Petras Išora and Ona Lozuraitytė in 2014 in Vilnius, where it is based.​ Their creative practice integrates urban narratives, public spaces, landscapes, infrastructures, domestic environments, social and cultural connections, material flows and experiments with the matter in scales of exhibition, interior design, public furniture and architecture of the wider environment. With a dedicated focus on material experimentation and contextual analysis IXL explore architectural concepts that foster sustainable, dialogical and unique environments.

The OPEN CALL for the workshops to be held in Vilnius on 18-23 September 2023 for creators, architects, urban planners and students.

Applications are welcome until 11 September 2023, 11.59pm (Vilnius time).

The workshops will be held in English.

Students participating in the workshop and preparing the results summary material will be awarded 3 ECTS study credits.

Application form: https://forms.gle/RE21WuoSP6vTgAtE8

Curator: Martynas Germanavičius

Coordinator: Eglė Kliučinskaitė

Organisers: SODAS 2123, Architektūros fondas, Gallery Weekend. Partner: VILNIUS TECH Faculty of Architecture. The project is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and Vilnius City Municipality.