States of Disassembly: Territory, Electronics, and Toxicity

46 T Recycling Mason White And Lola Sheppard

Our global waste-stream is increasingly clogged with electronic waste, or e-waste. The impact of this is a sprawling geography of e-waste management, with activity centers in unexpected places from Agbogbloshie, Ghana to Guiyu, China to Karachi, Pakistan. Simultaneously, digital rubbish has generated unintended technological commons with landscapes and architectures tailored to its recovery processes. While its far-flung dispersion and its processes have emerged informally, the potential now appears to consider the space of e-waste at its point of origin into new typologies that acknowledge the potential of the techno-commons as a space of disassembly. With little doubt that the production and consumption of electronics is set to decrease, new possibilities for the space of e-waste are necessary. As a celebration for the act of disassembly required, this project envisions a series of vaults and campuses that posit new architectures and landscapes for the storage, management, and recovery of e-waste. Seven typological structures make up the proposed network of spaces dedicated to the social and ecological spheres of electronic waste. There are material libraries, workshops, salvage depots, markets, and disassembly theaters, among others. The space of e-waste becomes equal parts ecology, economy, and education with a celebration of the return of maker culture.