The Tire [Un]Retired: A Repurposed Future for the Automobile Tire Winter 2022

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Invented in 1845, the automobile tire has evolved from a rubber product into one of nylon polymer, steel, and carbon black. These component parts make them difficult to recycle, resulting in fields of used tires emerging around the globe. As this problem continues to grow, how might we re-envision the recycling of this product into a repurposed future? In this course we will explore the global phenomenon of tire disposal, recycling, and reuse. Final projects will culminate in the design and assembly of a sculpture or structure composed of used automobile tires. By the end of week 1 student groups will be tasked with assembling lectures for the rest of the class. Topics will focus on areas of the class’s investigation, ranging from ‘Clarifying the components of the unit’ to ‘Spatializing the landscape of the industry’. In-class workshops will call upon groups to assemble a pre-designed element; requiring tire dissection, stretching, folding, and attachment. At the beginning of Week 02 new student groups will be tasked with designing and generating a composition of automobile tires for presentation and exhibition at the end of the course. Each group may choose between two tracks: 1. Reprovision of Function: Design and craft an architectural feature (i.e. playground equipment, furniture, or other element that supports or accommodates function). A detailed set of assembly instructions must be presented alongside the product. Expected to be primarily graphic in nature, the document will provide step-by-step installation processes and quantify the materials necessary for replication. 2. Installation as Statement: Design and craft a freestanding structure that illuminates and informs upon the state of the automobile tire as a product, an industry, a problem, and/or an opportunity. A supporting textual narrative/statement that contextualizes the installation(s) as a commentary upon the past, present or future of the automobile tire will also be required.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 15
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final project or presentation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: seniors in art and environmental studies will be given priority
Unit Notes: Charles Newman is an architect and researcher with experience building alongside residents of urban informal settlements, with communities seeking to rebuild post-conflict, and with families confined to refugee camp spaces. His work seeks to define and articulate high-impact, low-cost design solutions for communities in need. Newman has advised governments, international NGOs, and United Nations offices on design standards and strategic planning for community-scaled design projects.
Materials/Lab Fee: $30

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