Minimum game plans: eco-design and low-tech fabrication in studios

Cristian Suau

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Eco-design aims at reducing the environmental impact of buildings or products, including the energy consumption throughout their entire life cycle. Eco-design is consequently the process of incorporating environmental considerations during all (as early as possible) phases of the design of buildings or objects. Eco-design is for that reason closely related to life cycle thinking. All the case studies deal with the principles of Reusability, Recyclability and Recoverability of urban and industrial waste such as packaging and thus explore structural capacities to become inhabited devices such as playgrounds, dwellings or furniture. Low-tech fabrication is the optimal medium to test and materialise our Eco-design outcomes, throughout the method of ‘bricolage’ or Do-It-Yourself (DIY), an elementary fabrication process that is 100% personal involvement and enhancement of manual skills, which are dormant due to an education based on abstraction and merely cognitive aspects rather than material competences. Through comparative teaching and design methods, this study critically explores the principles of low-tech and high-design carried out in several international workshops led by the author in Spain, Slovenia, Chile and the UK, since 2004. This study focuses in the teaching and learning systems of eco-fabrication implemented in several design studios and compact workshops.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalCreativity Game: Theory and Practice of Spatial Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • eco-design
  • life cycle thinking
  • reusability
  • low-tech fabrication
  • D.I.Y.


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