Building the Symbiocene
This is a manifesto on making, a cry for humans all to urgently become involved in being makers of their surroundings, and in this regard how making involves everything that was previously made. Making as an anthropological act, making as a collective act, making as a social act. Re-making the balance between the produced and the natural must be the highest priority.
We must Build the Symbiocene and in doing so make visible the interconnectedness of all matter, life and time. We must pick up the threads we forgot we were a part of and begin to weave.
We believe that resilience can be learned and made by prioritizing what already exists: built, material, human and natural and by considering how best to make good, make last and make better.
We ask ‘ Are we being good ancestors?’ Do our actions today support what happened before and will happen after?
Djernes & Bell have extensive experience with adaptive reuse, restoration and transformation of existing buildings and environments.
Renew/ Repair/ Restore/ Regenerate
We need a new material culture, one that refuses the hidden systems of unnecessary production and obscene waste, a culture where traces of use, decay and repair are celebrated and the act of making good becomes the pivotal role between humans and their resources, where consumption is exchanged for symbiosis. We can begin by reconsidering our relationship between what already exists, wear and tear, weathering and age.
Quality, relevance, beauty, preservation and repair need to take over from the modern industrial obsession with quantity, scale and newness. What lasts is best, what exists already is better. What separates damage from patina and waste from archaeology?
Prioritising upgrading existing buildings through careful renovation, restoration and adaptive reuse is one of the most sustainable contributions architects can make.
We are specialised in working with existing buildings across a wide range of building typologies and project sectors. We aim to help our clients increase the value and positive impact of existing buildings.
Material Localism & Aesthetic Sustainability
Djernes & Bell believe that material culture has to be redefined if we are to achieve a sustainable built and material world. We need to consider longevity, weathering, localism, usefulness and cultural relevance. Materials should be considered for their local availability, and local contextural, climactic and cultural appropriateness.
Processes of production should likewise be locally appropriate and focussed towards craftsmanship, material value and carbon efficiency rather than mass-production for profit. Quality and longevity need to take over from profit extraction as the main parameters we evaluate what gets made.