Second Edition Uses Waste Material for Deconstructible KitchenSecond Edition Uses Waste Material for Deconstructible Kitchen

Second Edition Uses Waste Material for Deconstructible Kitchen

This modular, deconstructible kitchen is made from waste material by Sydney-based research practice, Second Edition.

Old homes come down, new homes go up, and our planet becomes home for the waste we create in the process. Australia produced 29 megatonnes of total waste in the construction and demolition industry in 2020-21. This inconceivable amount was a catalyst for Second Edition, a research-based practice exploring waste minimisation and circularity in the building industry, and the creation of their unique Off-Cut Kitchen.

We have long been led by a linear economy. A cycle of take, make, waste, according to executive director of Greenpeace Annie Leonard. Though there have been significant shifts towards more circular economies – a model of reproduction and consumption aimed at reusing, repairing and recycling existing materials – the building industry still has a way to go. A drive past any construction site shows detritus filling skip bins, hauled away by the tonne load to its eventual home in landfill. Thankfully, there are organisations like Second Edition who are advocating the maximum reuse of building resources.
Amy Seo, Shahar Cohen and Bill Clifton bring more than fifteen years of collective experience in construction and architecture disciplines to Sydney-based Second Edition. The team has seen firsthand how much construction and demolition waste contributes to Australia’s landfills. And in their effort to reduce this waste, Seo, Cohen and Clifton combined their skillsets through hands-on research and experimentation to produce practical applications of waste minimisation.
Finding new ways to repurpose materials that would otherwise end up in landfill is Second Edition’s chief concern, and something that can only be achieved through creativity, consultancy, experimentation, prototyping and the transfer of knowledge. Their work is not oriented towards commercial success. Their research and practice is open source, and the team regularly engages with the broader architectural, construction and design communities in order to disseminate their research of a circular economy, advocate a message of sustainability, and foster a new ecology of ideas.
The most visual aspect of the Second Edition service is design, as evidenced by their modular, deconstructible ‘Off-Cut Kitchen’ made from material waste. The striking composition of the Off-Cut Kitchen is a medley of recovered fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) and secondhand form ply. The benchtop, a collaboration with Warragamba-based Natural Brick Co, was cast with marble waste sourced from local stonemasons and a cement mixture of fly ash, marble sand and unbleached yellow sand. Everything was designed for disassembly, from the cupboard fronts and mechanical fixings right down to the aluminium base structure. The product champions a pathway to sustainable design, while ticking the aesthetic boxes of contemporary design.
The Off-Cut Kitchen is the materialisation of Second Edition’s continual investigation into resource-efficient building processes. The communication of their research and the salvaged FRP of the kitchen both glow with transparency and sew hope for greater industry change. Second Edition promotes a workflow that makes material specification the first thought, not an afterthought, in order to achieve greater social outcomes.