Designing with Uncertainty: Built Heritage in Circular Economy

Iida Kalakoski, Riina Sirén

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Circular economy is rising to general interest. In architectural context, it is mostly considered as a technical problem, solved by engineers, lawyers, and economists. However, architectural heritage and culture are tightly connected, and architecture defines the local milieu, functions, routes, and maintenance. Accordingly, solutions made along circular economy are strongly influencing the human encounter, and vice versa. Circular economy will change the way we consider construction, preservation, demolition, storage, logistics, and repair. Furthermore, the spectrum of aspects of circular economy expresses and creates variety of uncertainties discussed in this chapter. The study is based on considerations collected from Finnish architectural heritage professionals and practicing architects. Firstly, the authors have hosted two round table discussions among Finnish professionals on architectural heritage and circular economy. Secondly, the authors have collected responses from architects participating into a “Reimage Buildings” camp focusing on circular economy taking place in Helsinki in September 2022. This article is based on round table discussions and questionnaire replies collected from the participants of the camp. The paper examines material reuse as an expression of circular economy and identifies different perspectives on its relations and potential dissonances with built heritage. The discourse is interpreted through a literature review. According to the dataset, circular economy in architectural heritage is not only a question of technical and economic acts but also of cultural aspects, and it is a reaction to societal challenges or an expression of uncertainty. The paper demonstrates that the premises of the circular economy of buildings require multidisciplinary understanding of the phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Narratives
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Identity, Heritage, and Sustainable Development in Cities
EditorsMohd Fairuz Shahidan, Gasim Hayder Ahmed Salih, Alessio Cardaci, Israa Hanafi Mahmoud
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-48517-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-48516-9, 978-3-031-48519-0
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2024
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventCities Identities in Arts and Architecture - University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Duration: 5 Dec 20226 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology & Innovation
ISSN (Print)2522-8714
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8722


ConferenceCities Identities in Arts and Architecture
Abbreviated titleCITAA
Internet address

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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