Materials in a
Circular Economy

WEEK #7:
Materials in the Global Capital System
October 15, 2019

Weekly topics

✓  0109/03Who are we? What can we do?
✓  0209/10Case study: Digital versus physical media
✓  0309/17Food preparation
✓  0409/24Material Flows
✓  0510/01Thesis development
✓  0610/08Major Impactors
0710/15Materials in the Global Capital System
0810/22Book reports: MATERIALS MATTER
0910/29Book reports: SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS
1011/05Re-Mining & Re-Engineering Materials
1111/12Design for Dissasembly
1412/03Convenience, Clothing, Electronics
1512/10The Role of Art
1612/17Thesis Presentations

Home Work No. 7
10/08 through 10/15


    After reading the excerpt distributed last week and visiting the current exhibition "How to Build a House" in 41 Cooper Square, please write 1000-1500 words addressing the question:


  2. READINGS: Read, annotate, and be prepared to discuss:
  3. THESIS: Conclude the research phase of your thesis by reading the majority of your references. Prepare notes and begin an outline of your thesis. Be prepared to review with the class the ways your references have shaped your thesis and the new ideas you are starting to formulate around your topic.

    IN TWO WEEKS (10/22) have a full outline of your thesis prepared, including where your references will be used and how they will support your argument. We will review this in class as a formal presentation (i.e. we will use the projector to display your outline, and you will walk us through your plan). Feel free to prepare a presentation with slides, or simply show a text document, whichever feels better for you.


    FOR 10/22: Prepare a seven-minute oral and visual presentation on one of the chapters of Materials Matter.

    Sign up on the Book Reporting tab of the SHARED SPREADSHEET.

    FOR 10/29: Prepare a three-minute oral and visual presentation on each of (2) chapters in Sustainable Materials, for a total of six-minutes of presentation time.

    Sign up on the Book Reporting tab of the SHARED SPREADSHEET.


    FOR 11/05: Please select a different material to study from the following shared document: SHARED SPREADSHEET

    Please augment the materials index for your selected material. Add information to as many of the previous sections as you can. Add sections for the new items as you see fit.

    Contribute to the existing google document for the report (or create one if it does not exist, starting with uploading/copying and pasting the contributions from the previous weeks).

    Add the google doc hyperlink into the shared spreadsheet (keeping your name as the text displayed for the link). Do the same for last week, and the first week if possible. Thank you! I think this will help us collaborate more smoothly.


    Consider the total quantity of the material which exisists on Earth. The total mass is conserved, outside the material used in space applications. We would like to know the location of all of the materials and matter on Earth. To begin, provide estimates of the following information as well as calculations and references to justify your estimation. Feel free to use letters, numbers, words, sentences, equations, paragraphs, pictures, cartoons, charts, graphs, tables, etc. to convey the information in your justification. But, also be sure to distill the information down to the basic (8) values listed below.

    1. Tons of material on earth
    2. Tons extracted throughout human history
    3. Tons left in primordial locations (in concentrated locations as well as distributed)
    4. Tons currently being utilized as capital (combined into products, equipment, buildings, etc.)
    5. Tons in stock (extracted, formed, and waiting for production)
    6. Tons dissipated to the environment
    7. Tons in landfills, waste sites, etc.
    8. Tons degraded, composted, etc.
    9. Anything we missed?
    1. Composition - elemental anaylsis
    2. Molecular structure
    3. Material properities (strength, conductivity, elasticity, reactivity, etc.)
    4. Sources - geographic extraction location (primordial and waste stream)
    5. Extraction processes (environmental destruction, energy use, waste generated, tooling and infrastructure required)
    6. Uses - current and historical
    7. Processing to form stock material
    8. Processing into final products
    9. Life cycle transportation
    10. Packaging
    11. End of life reuse - reclaimability, recyclability, etc.
    12. Estimation of current quantity in stock and trade (already extracted)
    13. Historical material usage data (plus present use and future forecasting)
    14. Environmental impacts (extraction, refining, manufacturing, use, discard)