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THE MADE SHOP
Ecolomy Studio
The Ecolomy Studio was run by BIG's Bjarke Ingels when he was a visiting professor at Harvard GSD in 2007.

"Ecolomy" is Bjarke's term conflating "economy" with "ecology." Until recently most large-scale architecture projects were economically sound but ecologically unsustainable. Recently that trend is reversing, unfortunately many new projects that are now ecologically sound are often economically unsustainable.

The problem of the studio was to create a project where –as often as possible–economic benefits increased ecologic sustainability, and ecologic benefits also helped the bottom line.

This project is situated in Iceland. After extensive research into Iceland's economy and ecology, I proposed a drastic expansion of Iceland's current aluminum production. This was controversial because most aluminum plants are noisy, ugly, and cause pollution. However, because of Iceland's vast hydroelectric power potential it is shockingly more ecologically sustainable to produce aluminum in Iceland than nearly anywhere else in the world. (See the video for a more detailed explanation.) So, counter-intuitevly, as we increase Iceland's GDP we reduce world-wide CO2 production from aluminum smelting.

However, every new aluminum plant requires building a large town to house all the workers needed to run it. This doubles the ecologic footprint and impact of every aluminum plant. To address this problem, my project combines the plant and the town into a single footprint by excavating the aluminum potlines underground and using them to form the city blocks. Excess heat energy is used to warm the city above, and tourist-friendly sea-water canals are used simultaneously to cleanse the CO2 exhaust in a cutting-edge new filtering process that is much cleaner than standard filtering methods.

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