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Foundation

It took a week of manual labour, much scavenging and help from the general public but Foundation managed to build a temporary shelter from recycled materials in just over a week at Vienna Design Week.

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 14-10-2010

During Vienna Design Week (1-10 October, 2010) Jet van Zwieten and Rikkert Paauw were invited to create Foundation, a structure made completely from recycled materials.

Foundation Vienna is a concept by graphic designer Jet van Zwieten and spatial designer Rikkert Paauw. It is the second instalment of the initiative after a similar project was realized at the Public Design Festival in Milan. Starting out with a hired waste container which was placed near the U-Bahn Alser Strasse, the duo - aided by two fellow designers - collected discarded material and old furniture from around the neighbourhood and turned it into a temporary shelter for passers-by. "We got deeply involved with the neighbourhood and its people," says Van Zwieten. "Because we use materials found around the area, people felt connected to the project."

The aim was to create an intimate temporary space that provided respite from the noisy traffic and protection from heavy rain. Every day a newspaper called FOUNDaily was distributed around the neighbourhood and online, calling on locals to contribute to the project by donating building materials, old furniture and whatever else they could to help the cause. "We got invited into people's homes," says Van Zwieten, "to collect materials from their basements and attics."

Materials and objects such as wooden doors, windows, tables and TVs were screwed, nailed and hammered into place by the four designers. As the structure progressed many curious passers-by started to take an interest, often commenting on the nature of the project and its end goal. Van Zwieten: "We asked some people what they thought the construction should become: the answers ranged from wedding chapel to kebab shop." Over the course of Vienna Design Week, Foundation started to take the shape of a collaged house culminating in the roof being put in place and the interior furnished. The progress was updated daily on the Foundation blog.

Foundation aims to unexpectedly impose on people's daily life by creating a happening around them; made from materials found in the local neighbourhood, the project challenges the viewer to re-evaluate waste materials and feel a closer connection to their surroundings. "The house can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old, from all different backgrounds," states Van Zwieten. "It's just a shame to break it down so soon."

Photography courtesy of Foundation

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