Posts Tagged ‘reuse’

Duisburg’s Shifting Landscape

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Famous before completion, Duisburg Nord Landscape Park (Latz+Partner, design 1990) is a stunningly successful example of the repurposing of an industrial site into a multi-functional landscape. We had a chance to tour the park between attending the IENE conference and Glasstec.

Formerly an ironworks plant in the Ruhr area of Germany, the site became a shining example of how a polluted industrial site, or "brownfield," can become home to new human use and ecological opportunities. Once-rare examples like Seattle's Gassworks Park (1975), projects to remediate and repurpose brownfield sites are now too numerous to count.


This shifting of use marks how the location and scale of our industrial processes transform, and who performs the "work" of our current industrial era. Duisburg Nord is still surrounded by active industry, but is also adjacent to freeway and retail expansion.


Minnesota is no stranger to changing industrial markets and scales. From the fur trade to white pine to iron and other minerals to wheat and corn, the landscape and culture have continually re-formed to fit viable and profitable modes of extraction and production.


Below are links to some folks who are imaging and analyzing industrial landscapes. Edward Burtynsky's photographs examine "nature transformed through industry." Landscape architect Kate Orff and photographer Richard Misrach have imaged and visually analyzed Louisiana's chemical corridor in "Petrochemical America."

How, what and where we procure and produce things will continue to evolve. Each change signals an opportunity to adjust and refocus our cultural intentions.



The Chickens’ New Home

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Our first snowfall was the perfect portend to our chickens' move into their new fully-functional coop.

While our Icelandic chickens were faring well in the open "tractor" coop that was generously leant to us in conjunction with the chickens' arrival into our lives, they need an enclosed coop to take them through the winter.


Team Meteek was up to the challenge, and put together an ingenious design of passive light (fiberglass panels) and passive solar heat gained on the south side of our shop.

We constructed the coop with lumber on-hand and reused various materials left over from other projects. The coop includes a run, where the chickens can hunt and peck outside on warm days.


Two chickens do not quite make a flock--we hope to add a few hens to increse their number. And next summer we'll build a new "chicken tractor," a mobile coop we can move around on our front meadow, where they can forage for insects, mice, and other tasty morsels...

Wooden Spoons

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Spoon making is an enjoyable and useful undertaking, and we often have wonderful hardwood scraps to use for source wood. Robbie Lapp visited Duluth this week and we created a boquet of wooden kitchen implements she plans to use for housewarming presents.


We are intending to offer spoon making as a Meteek Workshop class. Let us know if you are interested! You can email us at


Recycling Materials to COGGS

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This week we recycled wood from a deck remodel project to COGGS, "Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores," a volunteer organization of bicyling enthusiasts in the Duluth area. The lumber will be used primarily for sections of trail that need bridges and boardwalks.


We feel great when used materials can find a new home, and area cyclists benefit from the good work COGGS is doing in Duluth and along the North Shore.


See what COGGS is up to: