Skyscrapers made out of trash, and houses made from pigs


Buildings made from trash

Architect Mitchell Joachim is referred to by many as a "radical architect." Rather than design a new style of building, he rethinks the concept of a building entirely. In looking at his home, New York City, he sees potential to turn its darker, dirtier side into a competitive advantage:

We make a lot of trash - 36,000 tons per day. In fact if I were some alien peering down on New York I would think the city was some sort of apparatus to make trash, that its primary function is to produce waste.

Joachim thinks that trash should be put to use, namely in the construction of buildings. A life-size replica of the Statue of Liberty would require (according to Joachim) only one hour's worth of the city's compacted waste; a skyscraper could be built with a single day's worth. In a conversation Friday on Midmorning, Joachim said we should stop filling landfills, and instead start building housing and businesses. Some clean-up of the trash would need to be made, he says, but that shouldn't stop the city from taking advantage of a vast resource.

MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.


The In Vitro Meat Habiata is intended to be a "victimless shelter", because no sentient being was harmed in the laboratory growth of the skin.

Joachim recognizes that his ideas have some hurdles to leap before gaining wide acceptance. Take, for instance, his "In Vitro Meat Habitat" made from mass manufactured pig cells. The "habitat" would be a completely organic structure that didn't hurt a single pig in the making. But as the picture above indicates, Joachim needs to do some more work on curb appeal.

So, are you willing to live in a house made out of trash in order to save the planet? Do you think Joachim's ideas have the potential to gain mass appeal?