The name ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ comes from the 1946 Frank Capra film – a story of a seemingly bleak future which becomes overwhelmingly optimistic when a different perspective is taken. The importance of a community coming together for the collective alongside individuals having momentous impact is exhibited beautifully.
Focusing on the textiles industry means focussing on one of the largest environmental polluters today. There is a need to talk about both sustainable materials, and sustainable modes of living. The proposal focusses on the loss of craft and repair economy, and the importance of natural fibres remaining in a circular system.
The Silo D proposal focuses on the shared economy through the idea of the scheme operating like a builders merchants. This means none of the material is owned by one person or company.
The translucent quality of polycarbonate allows a panoramic view of the Royal Dockland area, Silvertown and the Thames Barrier. The light catching abilities allow the building to be lit up at night – becoming a symbol of hope for sustainable living in the effect of a lighthouse.
When researching precedents that exhibit the process of breaking down textiles into a new fabric, it is apparent the idea is proposed as an innovation to be taken up by existing industrial chains and established companies. This shifts the responsibility to such parties and creates distance from the consumer – preventing their involvement. A new relationship between consumer habits and the products they buy needs to be encouraged. Full involvement with the entire manufacturing process should be readily available; from donating the textiles to purchasing the yarn or fabric after processing it. Such a space should be social and collaborative, as well as provide a space for a reflective and critical thinking of consumer habits so the contextualised norm can be challenged.