The Green House project
Dean, Tanya (2005) The Green House project The Green House project, West Sussex, UK.
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Dean’s design research and practice includes selected consultancy relating to the integration of sustainability as a key element of social policy making. Dean (and Gant) worked with Guild Care, a charity supporting older people and carers, to design and develop the Green House project in West Sussex. Based on the principles of landfill waste reduction, promotion of environmental awareness, local economic regeneration, and provision of training for employment of those who are disadvantaged, this action-based research project expanded an already existing furniture and electrical goods restoration and recycling scheme into a pioneering community-based social enterprise, re-use and recycling centre, retail outlet and educational facility. Dean's (and Gant’s) project was funded by a Big Lottery award (2005), and aimed to challenge perceptions and stereotypes of ‘dowdy’ charity shops through design of an innovative retail environment and an ecologically-sound recycling facility. Through renovation of a former Council refuse lorry depot brown-field site into the Green House, Dean (and Gant) were able to engage with a grass-roots activity-methodology, based on the topical concept of ‘product life extension’, and transforming sustainability concepts into realised critical achievements. Through the project, they explored methods by which disparate recycled items could be restored, remade and resold successfully, whilst developing the social, ecological and educational characteristics of a principles-based and integrated ‘waste-commodification’ service. Central to the Green House project was the construction of low impact architectural, garden and spatial design, including geodesic dome greenhouses and innovative multi-functional zones. This project was awarded the Association of Charity Shops WOW Award in 2005.
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