18 June 2019
Architectural Association, London
Design or Default is an integrated protocol to establish a carbon capture scheme in Scotland.
It demonstrates the socioeconomic potential of peatland landscapes to operate as carbon sequestration machines. The protocol coordinates projects of stewardship for the generation of capture credits. The capture credit challenges the instrumentality of the correlation between positive and negative emission units, which has instituted the commodification of carbon and its detachment from local socioeconomic realities.
Design or Default intervenes at the core of the most concentrated pattern of land ownership in Europe. While a carbon credit offers a temporary consent to emit, a capture credit grants a temporary carbon usufruct. The protocol initiates a juridical mechanism for the decoupling of this carbon usufruct from the property, allowing for its transfer between different parties.
Labour in the peatlands as the foundation for a carbon capture scheme implicitly generates a series of co-benefits from a local perspective. The value of the capture credit does not rely primarily on the enclosure of the sink but builds up in relation to these inputs. A structural condition emerges surrounding the peatlands of Scotland manifested in repurposed architectures, infrastructures, artefacts and spaces.
Design or Default challenges the functioning of a stagnant property system on the basis of use.
I feel incredibly privileged for the opportunity to represent the Diploma 4 family. This project is a result of five years surrounded by the most challenging and talented minds I have ever encountered, and this is the greatest honour.
I am full of gratitude and affection for Ann-Sofi, John, Patricia, Javier, Mark, Inigo, Tyen, Manijeh and Stewart.
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