Green Talks is a new series of Podcasts by ECOWEEK and Design Ambassador. This new series of Podcasts co-hosted by Vassilios Bartzokas creator of ARCHISEARCH.GR & the DESIGN AMBASSADOR, and architect Elias Messinas creator of ECOWEEK. The duo interviews leading Architecture and Design personalities who share their experience and how they connect Design, Sustainability and Innovation in their work. 

In this episode, Katerina Novakova is invited. She is an Engineer and Architect, Ph.D. and she has been teaching in Czech Technical University of Prague since 2008. She is the co-author of the idea for the Experimental Studio in Molab, where students explore the possibilities of non-traditional materials and design procedures, with focus in waste and recycled materials. With Henri Achten, she published the book 150,000 PET Bottles in 2014, where she described the existing constructions from PET bottles, her own experiments, and how she introduces students to this material at FA CTU. In 2O14, she began researching recycled architecture with KMV as and CTU, and the team developed a PET (b) rick – patented brick – polyethylene terephthalate bottle. The Team of PET-MAT was founded by Kateřina Nováková in July 2014, which she now directs. The group is based at FA CTU Prague and it is a compilation of architects and designers, who are trying to develop a plastic brick in order to find use for dirty recycled PET material. 

In this conversation with Katerina Novakova we instantly understant the passion that she and her team have for green design and new methodologies in the boarder framework of sustainability. They are thought as pioneers in this field and one of the teams that have pass from the research and theory to the practice and the actuall building of very interesting projects with recycled materials and ecological methods. 

On how her interested in this field generated, she states “I haven’t learn in school of architecture how to save the earth so let’s do something that is not only nice design..maybe I don’t trust myself that much in designing..let’s do something that has more effect in sustainability, in saving the nature..”.

Through the conversation, Katerina emphasize on the use of programming languages and codes as tools for the designers of the future. She even encourage young architects not to give up programming while these languages will be in common use in the next few years, like english, necessary for working, communicating and designing.

“It is silly not to use all this technology that we have” , she continues, “there has been a big change in how we produce stuff..we have to understand more the coding and have the ability to coorporate with robots to achieve produce in a better way”.

It was when, Elias Messinas inspired by her words refered to the continent of Africa as an interesting field of practice, where there is a big pollution problem in many cities, that mrs Novakova talked about a “mini recycling machine” that she has already designed. A portable machine which would mine this plastic waste and recycled it instantly and even produce new products from this recycled material. This could not only reuse the plastic carbidge but also reduce the environmental pollution caused by the transportation of the products and the energy that is needed for this  diadikasia in a recycling factory. This machine could be a part of public buildings like schools, constanlty reusing the same plastic, like a neiborghood recycling factory. 

Refering to the young architects after graduating school She also states that the most important thing while looking at a young architect’s portfolio is not the talent in design or arts generally, but the enthousiasm. She is looking for people that are exploring new possibilities and present a specific topic that really interest them and that they are passionate about. 

Listen to the whole episode with Katerina Novakova here