Made of Waste

Year | 2016
Location | Heeley City Farm, Sheffield
Clients | Lee Pearse (Dementia Manager, Heeley City Farm), Thomas Cullingford (Environment Manager, AMEY)

Project Summary :

The Brief : 
The initial brief outlined the creation of a safe social space for dementia patients (at Heeley City Farm) by using fly-tipped waste materials like palletes and tyres (from AMEY).

Experimenting with pallets and exploring joinery details in palettes resulted in creation of multiple ideas of constructing walls with pallets. However, upon further investigation, pallets did not prove to be efficient construction materials for a building that needed to be weatherproof and insulated.

Re-Investigating The Brief:
After exploring stakeholder & client interests and understanding their needs, the brief was re-drafted to create useful applications for pallets and design a safe haven for dementia patients (not necessarily in 1 deliverable).

Research By Design:
Meanwhile, research on dementia friendly and vandal-proof environments further revealed that pallets were unsuitable for use in the proposed building. A more conventional method of construction was proposed for the building and the semi-enclosed space that could serve as a haven for those with dementia.

Three Simple Solutions:
Instead of one complicated solution, three simple solutions were produced to address client needs :

  • A design for a dementia-friendly environment : Design for a space that Lee envisioned. The design included schematic drawings of an indoor and outdoor space, furniture layouts (and possible pallet furniture designs) and probable indoor activities.
  • A construction handbook : A handbook outlining the method of building a structure or wall with pallets (for storage sheds/temporary structures/pop-up exhibition spaces etc.), method of constructing the proposed design and experimental procedures done with pallets.
  • A dementia design handbook : A handbook that introduces dementia and the generic design guidelines for the same. The handbook lists a number of online references, possible activities for those with dementia (with furniture layouts) and how design guidelines were transformed into physical design elements in the proposed design.


  • Credits.

    School of Architecture.
    Nanxin Bu
    Xiaoxiao Gao
    Yixiao Huang
    Ziyan Huang
    Qiong Ma
    Lakshmi Srinivasan
    Li Jiayang
    Xiangyu Na
    Weilin Wang
    Yincheng Wang
    Nan Zheng
    Ming Zhong
  • Coordination.
    Ian Hicklin