24 August, 2023

Turning Unwanted Samples into Educational Treasures

As of 2020, the construction sector was responsible for an alarming third of the UK’s total waste output. Driven by our dedication to sustainability and propelled by our B-Corp certification, we are committed to finding inventive solutions to minimize our impact on the construction industry’s waste problem.

This is evident in our values led approach to designing, from the terrazzo fireplace made from recycled materials in Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, to the tabletops made from coffee granules in the Corner at Tate Modern.  However, one specific challenge is how to responsibly and meaningfully deal with the surplus samples that regularly make their way into our possession.  Previously, we used our London Festival of Architecture (LFA) event ‘Make it, Don’t Waste it’ as a creative solution, however, this only dealt with a small fraction of our excess samples.  It became evident that a more comprehensive approach was needed to tackle the larger volume that persisted.

Enter The Sample Project, an ingenious brainchild of Sophie Halliday, a dedicated Primary teacher from Southeast London.

After noticing all the amazing materials going to waste in her husband’s work, a fellow architect practice, and her awareness of the high costs of ‘loose part’ play packs from schools, she realized one industries problem could be another’s solution.  The Sample Project supplies schools, both locally and further afield, with ‘loose part’ play materials. This form of open-ended learning encourages children to utilize everyday objects for self-guided exploration, fostering creativity, curiosity, and crucial critical thinking skills.

Through our donations to The Sample Project, we are not only significantly reducing our waste within the studio, but we’re also supporting primary schools in igniting the imaginations of young minds and fostering a richer educational experience.

In our first donation, we have contribution:
4.8kg Fabric
8.5kg Wood
36.5kg Tiles
15kg Concrete
11kg Stone/Marble
8.6kg Miscellaneous
Creating a grand total of 104.4kg of repurposed samples.

We are incredibly excited by this new partnership with The Sample Projects and can’t wait to see how our unwanted samples are reimagined.

You can read more about Sophie and The Sample Project here.