Mine the Scrap is a data driven process that designs new structures algorithmically generated from existing scrap. Using computer vision and construction automation, we address the pressing need to convert waste into resource. The installation allows one to experience an algorithm at work. The project transforms irregular, non-uniform stocks of construction scrap into new forms, finding beauty and intricacy in neglected waste. Instead of pulverizing and chemically aggregating these disparate scraps in energy-intensive processes, Mine the Scrap finds the unique best use of each piece in a new structure through a process of scanning and classification.
Combining the logic of the quilt with customized shape and pattern detection, Mine the Scrap scans the material and generates an inventory of different forms. The exhibition functions as a look inside the algorithm. The data gathering and analysis processes are shown through a series of projected screens. Each of 4 processes, Scanning, Analysis, Graphing, and Building, are represented with their own motion graphics. The exhibition has been shown at the Forecast Platform at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Human Factor exhibition for Ars Electronica at the Volkswagen Group Forum, and the Coder Le Monde at the Centre Pompidou.