Whether we like it or not, every architect is a recycler. The phrase “Swamp Yankee” is neither a diss nor a stereotype. Swamp Yankees lived in pre-20th-century New England. They were those poor folk who could only afford to live near water – where disease, vermin and bad weather regularly wrecked lives. Those folk never threw anything out that could be reused (someday). They bartered and they salvaged as a way of life. There was never waste (“waste not, want not”). Swamp Yankees made recycling a lifestyle. Sustainability was not a Green choice – it was the way they survived. I am a Swamp Yankee Architect. As architects, we chef a stew of existing realities mixed (and spiced) with our perspective to make architecture. Each site, client and community have a history that has nothing to do with who designs a project. Architects get to recycle those.
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