Charles O. Job

Waste can also be turned into something valuable and useful.

Charles O’s is an architect, designer and Professor of Design Theory at Bern University of Applied Sciences. As part of a research project, he is developing building materials and design objects made out of domestic waste.

The research project at the BUAS originated in the idea of building affordable houses in Nigeria. The goal was to develop new building materials based on locally available resources such as corncobs, rice hulls and peanut shells. As a result of using agricultural by-products, the import of other building materials has gone down, and CO2 emissions have also decreased, as the waste is not burned in the fields. In 2011 the project won the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction. What you can make out of materials such as the chaff from wheat and barley, from chaff fibre or maize straw, is shown by the prototypes of occasional tables using panels made from agricultural waste. Charles Job presented them recently on the occasion of the design show Neue Räume 13 in Zurich. The tables are simple interwoven forms. Each table is made out of variously recycled pieces of wood. The parts are held together with simple magnets in order to simplify production, transport and assembly. We managed to lure Charles O. Job to the ERZ recycling centre in Zurich, and spoke to him about his African homeland, his toys, and of course about attitude.

Thank you: ERZ Entsorgung + Recycling Zürich and Mirko Beetschen.