Carbon Counts, curated by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios is an exhibition designed to bring to the fore a much needed conversation around the impact of building materials on our climate, and the individual carbon emissions related to different materials from raw to finished state. By understanding better the embodied and emitted carbon in the construction and life cycle of buildings, architects will be able to make better informed choices to improve the impact of their work on the environment. The embodied carbon of a building is made up of the impacts from the extraction, processing, manufacture and packaging of the materials used, with the carbon emissions resulting from their transport and construction on site, maintenance over their life span and what happens after the building is demolished.
The exhibition invites visitors to interact with samples of building materials and help better quantify their impact. Each totem in the exhibition has the same volume as 1kg of CO2 - the equivalent volume of CO2 emitted by the manufacture of the piece of material held in each totem.
Our design for the graphics purposefully evokes process, from the window graphics to the concertina exhibition pamphlet, highlighting the impact left at every stage of the material in its life cycle. The materials used in the exhibition were carefully selected to be re-used or recycled after the exhibition. All printing was done using waterless technologies onto recycled paper stocks. The acrylic lettering was carefully cut in small sections and assembled together to keep waste to a minimum. The larger acrylic sections of the totems will be turned into lamp shades, whilst the Valchromat body of the totems will be re-purposed into storage cabinets.