‘I think designing as such is a little absurd. I don’t believe in one form being the best, and form is never my starting point,’ architect Césare Peeren once said. Instead, Peeren starts each project by searching the surroundings for waste materials that could be of use in the design. Resulting in a coffee counter made of old washing machine fronts, a playground made of discarded wind-turbine blades, or a shoe shop interior made of redundant windshields.
‘All the resources we’ve been digging up using the abundance of oil for the past 150 years, we think we should reuse them several times,’ Peeren says. But that doesn’t mean design made from waste materials should look like crap, he adds. Superuse Studios, the renamed studio Peeren founded in 1997 together with Jan Jongert as 2012 Architetcs, combines its recycling principles with design quality.
The new studio name reflects the term ‘Superuse’ that Peeren and Jongert invented for the process of using locally sourced ‘waste’ flows and making optimally functional, aesthetic and environmentally smart use of their properties in design. In addition to reusing superfluous materials, Superuse Studios seeks to connect resource streams within a building or city area into so-called ‘Cyclifiers’.
Prior to studying architecture at TU Delft, Peeren was a marketeer at Greenpeace for six years. In addition to being head of design at Superuse Studio, he is currently a Visiting Professor at Aarhus School of Architecture and Sheffield School of Architecture. Together with Ed van Hinte and Jongert, Peeren wrote ‘Superuse: Constructing New Architecture by Shortcutting Material Flows’ (Nai010 Publishers, 2013).