Link the System

By Linking Disciplines, Materials, Cycles and Designs

Theresa Schwaiger

September / September - 2022

Universität der Künste Berlin

Master of Arts


This project investigated the potential of geopolymers as an alternative material in the construction sector, which is a field that requires particularly urgent action due to its high emissions and resource consumption. Compared to cement, geopolymers cause only about a quarter of CO₂ emissions and can be produced from industrial waste materials. With this understanding, the idea of producing geopolymers from broken bricks was developed, with the aim of utilising local waste resources; “urban mining”, in a sense. In collaboration with TU Darmstadt, a material research strategy was developed, which led to positive results. The findings of the experiments were put into experiential form and a system of modular and interlocking building blocks was developed. The interlocking building blocks were intended to show, on a small scale, where potential opportunities for developing more sustainable designs of products and materials might lie on a larger scale.