Upcycle Architecture (2016-present)
For more than 20 years, LOT-EK has carved out a unique practice, upcycling industrial detritus as the basis for creative architecture. Cement mixers, tanker trucks, and, most recognizably, shipping containers are transformed through meticulous design into iconic retail, office, and residential spaces.
UP↑CYCLE is a long-format documentary that is both an investigation of LOT-EK’s provocative love affair with the banal elements of modern, industrialized society and a
critique of the underlying economic conditions of that society. The shipping container lies at the heart of each: as a fundamental building block for architecture and the object most symbolic of, and responsible for, our hyper-consumptive, globalized world.
The film will intelligently weave economic, ecological and aesthetic perspectives to understand LOT-EK’s positive, engaged response as a counterpoint to fatalist laments or idealized or escapist fantasies. While looking at the larger picture of the relentless explosion of global shipping networks, the film follows the real-time construction of two of LOT-EK’s most significant projects: the sculptural assembly of 18 recycled shipping containers into Carroll House, a striking 5,000 square foot single-family home in Brooklyn; and the towering formation of Drivelines, 143 dry-docked containers transformed on-site to create a 105-unit affordable housing development in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. With sparks flying as the containers are collected, stacked and cut on the bias with acetylene torches, UP↑CYCLE celebrates LOT-EK’s ever more refined efforts to redefine beauty, and the inexhaustible potential of the shipping container.
At its heart, UP↑CYCLE is a film about how art can change the way we see, think about, and act on the world around us.At its heart,
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