Child’s play, you say? Legos are a perfect proof of concept when it comes to children’s instinct to construct and then deconstruct, reuse instead of demolish.
Children intuitively understand adaptive reuse:
Legos teach reuse at a young age. You build, take apart and rebuild using the same pieces. You wouldn’t throw away your Legos would you? So why throw away your home’s valuable materials? (reusenetwork.org)
This quirky little video (published on Oct 30, 2009 by the Deconstruction & Reuse Network) is a clever reminder why we should practice more sustainable building and renovation. It’s not rocket science, folks. Reuse! The organization’s mission statement is:
We’re an environmental and humanitarian public benefit corporation, promoting and empowering deconstruction practices and the reuse of quality building materials 501(c)(3). (Source: Deconstruction & Reuse Network)
Too bad they’re in California! I wonder, is their an equivalent deconstruction, salvage, reconstruction, repurposing and/or reuse organization in our area? All tips welcome.
Rosslyn & Reuse
In the early months of Rosslyn’s historic rehabilitation, adaptive reuse was not only environmentally responsible (think green renovation and green building) and architecturally responsible (think preservation of historic heritage), it was also a sentimental inevitability. We inherited such a vast array of architectural salvage from the previous owners — installed and in-use in all four buildings, but also stored away in the carriage barn. Such treasures! We couldn’t even identify everything (mysterious artifacts surface all the time), but we suspected that some day, one day many of these items would serve us (and Rosslyn) well.
One of the items that we removed from the previous owner’s woodshed was a pair of Greek Revival columns. They’re stored away in the carriage barn, hibernating, awaiting a creative reuse. Stay tuned for their next chapter. And, though most passersby are unaware, the flagpole mounted atop Rosslyn’s boathouse was once a sailboat mast!
Legos & DIY
In addition to the handy look at deconstruction and reuse, I also like the video above because it uses Legos. Legos! So accessible, and for many of us, so familiar. This ubiquitous children’s toy is one of our first introductions to the DIY way of thinking, subtly exposing youngsters to the idea of making, encouraging experimentation (and occasional failure) as well as reminding us then when it’s all said and done we can just deconstruct our creation back into its pieces in order to make something new. This ethos guides so much of Susan and my interest in and aptitude for what we call “greenovation” (responsible remodeling). We were both “Do it myself” kids, and now we’re a couple of “Do it myself” adults (who still feel like kids!)