Some news: Object Therapy, & the problem with reinforced concrete

by guy keulemans on July 9, 2016

In the past month or so I’ve been on radio and television.

For my human research project on repair, Object Therapy, I was interviewed on the 24th May byGenevieve Jacobs for ABC 666 Canberra. Then, on June 25th the day of our first stage interviews, ABC National News interviewed Andy Marks and I, and that when out on television that night, Australia wide. Subsequently, AJ+, the culture wing of Al Jazeera news, took it up for global distribution.

Object Therapy has now entered its second stage, in which broken objects obtained from participants are distributed to designers, artists  and other specialists, for transformative repair.

In June I wrote an article for the Conversation, based on my paper from the Unmaking Waste conference last year, about the problem of steel reinforced concrete. This was later republished on I Fucking Love Science, and last Tuesday 5th July I spoke to Kathryn Ryan for Radio NZ  and then with Sonya Feldhoff for 891 ABC Adelaide, about the article.

Generally, these radio interviews focussed on the technical aspects of reinforced concrete, which is not my area and not actually the focus of the article, which instead concerned the the way we sense and perceive reinforced concrete, via aesthetic theory. However, the very basic and non-original facts about the inherent non-sustainability of reinforced concrete from material and construction  science, that I used to simply ground my theorisation, appears novel and even controversial to the general public. Unfortunately, this just seems to reflect the absence of scrutiny and self-reflection on the use of reinforced concrete by the construction industries and disciplines.

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