- Abundance in the Desert: The pavilion from Dubai start-up ARDH Collective was constructed from bricks made of a concrete substitute that incorporates desert sand and partially replaces cement with an alternative binder. The material has a 50% lower carbon footprint than the regular option, and conserves conventionally used riverbed sand – a diminishing resource, the extraction of which can be harmful to natural ecosystems.
The installation also featured furniture derived from waste date seeds, which are a plentiful resource, with 108 million kg discarded in the UAE each year (ARDH, 2022). The studio also presented a vegan leather alternative derived from a native plant fibre, which is a local farming by-product.
- Refashioning Waste Foliage: Indian firm Tash Architects also demonstrated the untapped potential of waste streams. Its pavilion was constructed out of screens woven from discarded date palm leaves to provide a shaded respite from the sun. The project responds to the announcement that Dubai is planning on building 1,550 bus shelters, and proposes date palms as a suitable material that can benefit both the regional economy and the environment.
- Ocean Harvest: Waste streams of local businesses also hold potential – something Jordanian firm Fadaa Space has taken advantage of. Its installation comprised bricks made from an aggregate of waste mussel, oyster and clam shells discarded by local seafood restaurants. Reusing these materials locks in carbon that would otherwise enter the atmosphere if they were left to break down in landfill.