Showing posts from March, 2021

I Know What You Binned Last Summer

By KF When we throw away various pieces of waste and unloved rubbish, we don’t tend to think too deeply about what actually happens to them. Even if we do, our thinking only extends so far. Say you throw something into your big green waste bin. You wave a loving goodbye from the pavement as your beloved cast-offs are carted away by the timely binman and… never think about it again.  While the curtain has fallen on the story of you and whatever particular piece of rubbish you’re thinking of, there’s a whole encore going on behind the scenes. Most likely your item has ended up in landfill. Here is generally what the imagination whips up: an image of your discarded item (be it sock, nappy or old microwave) on top of an enormous and precariously stacked tower of other people’s crap. Sentenced to live out its days circled by gulls and playing host to a proud dynasty of rats. Forever.  Not necessarily, I’m afraid. Yes, after industriously quarrying the life out of the country, lots of enormo

The Human Cost of Modern Architectural Megaprojects

By Dylan Freestone Dubai’s Burj Khalifa currently stands as the world’s tallest building at 828 metres tall, which is roughly three times the size of the Eiffel tower. Its design saw many breakthroughs in architectural engineering allowing it to withstand extremes of heat, wind and sandstorms and soar to such a height that it is possible to watch the sun set twice if one takes the rapid elevators to the top.  Unfortunately there is a darker side to this record-breaking skyscraper.  During its 6 year construction, only one death was officially reported, when a man fell in 2007. However, a Human Rights Watch study concluded that there were many deaths which were omitted relating to “heat exhaustion, overwork and suicide.” Furthermore, 95% of the workforce in the United Arab Emirates are migrants who are exploited and many of the workers involved in the Burj Khalifa earned the equivalent of under $10 a day. The Human Rights Watch report made reference to a psychiatrist in Dubai, Dr Shiv