Besides being the right thing to do for Mother Earth, recycling can also make moneyparticularly when it comes to upcycling, a zero waste practice where discarded materials are fashioned into goods of greater economic or cultural value. In Upcycling Aluminum, Carl A. Zimring explores how the metal’s abundance after World War IIcoupled with the significant economic and environmental costs of smelting it from bauxite oreled to the industrial production of valuable durable goods from salvaged aluminum.
Beginning in 1886 with the discovery of how to mass produce aluminum, the book examines the essential part the metal played in early aviation and the world wars, as well as the troubling expansion of aluminum as a material of mass disposal. Recognizing that scrap aluminum was as good as virgin material and much more affordable than newly engineered metal, designers in the postwar era used aluminum to manufacture highly prized artifacts. Zimring takes us on a tour of post-1940s design, examining the use of aluminum in cars, trucks, airplanes, furniture, and musical instruments from 1945 to 2015.
By viewing upcycling through the lens of one material, Zimring deepens our understanding of the history of recycling in industrial society. He also provides a historical perspective on contemporary sustainable design practices. Along the way, he challenges common assumptions about upcycling’s merits and adds a new dimension to recycling as a form of environmental absolution for the waste-related sins of the modern world. Raising fascinating questions of consumption, environment, and desire, Upcycling Aluminum is for anyone interested in industrial and environmental history, discard studies, engineering, product design, music history, or antiques.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Series:||Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Carl A. Zimring is an associate professor of sustainability studies at Pratt Institute. He is the author of Cash for Your Trash: Scrap Recycling in America and Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States.
Table of Contents
Introduction, Toward a History of Upcycling 1
Part I Creating a Technical Nutrient
1 From Scarcity to Abundance 17
2 Designing Waste 35
3 A Recyclable Resource 54
Part II Designing Upcycled Goods
4 Metal in Motion 85
5 Covetable Aluminum Furniture 103
6 Guitar Sustain 133
Conclusion: Designing for Sustainability 159
What People are Saying About This
A refreshingly clear, open, and engaging contribution to the discourse on aluminum, this deeply researched book is a logical and extremely balanced contribution to the history of technology and environmental history.