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Nova Harris


The act of reusing building materials has been occurring since the oldest human civilizations, yet it is unclear how much of this history has a bearing on how people are reusing today. My senior thesis project is an investigation of the phenomenon of reuse in architecture and interior design. Within the past ten years, an emphasis has been placed on sustainability in design. This has fueled a renewed interest in architectural salvage. My research attempts to establish a history of reuse as a “practice” and explore the motivations, pressures, and methods that have developed into the contemporary practice of reuse today.

For my art piece, I have produced two wall paneling designs, each made from reclaimed wood. These designs are an exploration into the visuality of reuse; which can be expressed in two ways. For some, the character and age of the reused material is left exposed; the history is visible and is usually celebrated. You should be able to recognize the age and history of the wood in “Lacquered Damask”. For others, the history and age is rendered invisible through processing. To the unaided eye, it should appear “new,” but capitalize on an inherent quality of the material, the reason it was chosen to be reused in the first place. In the case of “Manufactured Terrain,” the texture is only achievable from a wood that is reused, yet the fact that it is “reused” remains hidden from your eye.

SECTOR B: Art and Culture of Seeing

ADVISORS: George Marcus (ARTH) | Franca Trubiano (ARCH)