How can the beneficial recovery and reuse of materials steer our industry’s resiliency efforts?

Research Project Name

What's Old is New Again: Circumnavigating the Circular Economy

What We Did

We studied five Gensler offices that have recently undergone a move and renovation, or are currently in the process of designing a new space, to assess process and see how reused materials played a role. The goals of this research are to bring awareness to the circular economy and identify how the industry can bolster and encourage reuse processes within design work. We hope that by understanding current industry dynamics and salvage trends, we can develop a framework and platform for the efficient exchange of reusable materials.

Our research was conducted at Gensler locations in San Francisco, Denver, London, San Diego, and New York. We supplemented our observations with literature analysis, qualitative data from interviews, and case studies to gain an overview of existing circular reuse models in the United States and the United Kingdom for furniture and interior materials. After analyzing the current client interest in the circular economy, we tracked the waste stream of recycled materials and began to assess typical constraints on materials reuse.

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Allie Trachsel, Gail Napell, Jane Christen, Jane Greenthal, Marcus Hopper, Michael Saunders

Year Completed