Trans Trash Exhibition, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Trans Trash is a collaborative exhibition that brings together staff, faculty, visiting researchers and students from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and  tries to make people sensitive to the subject of waste by raising awarenes and encouraging small local changes in the ways individuals treat garbage in their individual lives.

The aim of this project is to make waste cycles transparent to the public in an attempt to enable more personal social awareness and responsibility. Using Cambridge, MA, as a region of focus, and MIT as a hyper-local example, the works in the exhibition display information about local waste and the overlaps or tensions between the informal and formal waste management sectors.

More information at

Where: Room 408. Building 7. MIT. Mass Av Cambridge. MA. USA. View map
Dates: September 30th – October 23rd 2011.
Opening schedule: Monday-Friday. 9.00am – 6.00pm.


  • Nancy Kim. Master of Architecture Candidate. MIT.
  • Libby McDonald. Community Innovators Lab’s Green Hub Global Program Associate. MIT.
  • Dietmar Offenhuber. Research Fellow. Senseable City Lab. PhD Candidate. MIT.
  • Pablo Rey Mazón. Basurama Boston. Co-founder of Basurama and Visiting Scientist at Center for Civic Media. MIT Medialab.

Funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT.


Trash mappers workshop in New York

Basurama organizes a workshop at the BMW Guggenheim in New York.

The aim of the project is to give the participants an idea about waste. We want them to understand waste as a resource of knowledge, that can teach us about economy, anthropology, sociology, as well as to be a resource of creativity. During the workshop we will have different approaches to different kinds of trash. In the opening lecture we will discuss the wide concept of waste in contemporary society, ranging from the personal waste we directly produce, to the one in a city scale at a landscape level.
We will spend the rest of the time “hands on” waste, as we think it is the best way to address the topic. We want to make a very intense two days workshop.

The two days’ workshop has different parts:

Understanding waste
Saturday, September 3, 2011, 11–2 pm

What is waste, and what can waste tell us about who we are? Join creative collective Basurama in this presentation and hands-on workshop to analyze trash from New York City and gain better insight into the city’s consumption processes. Participants are invited to bring their own nonorganic waste produced in the previous 24 hours. Bring your paper cups, wrappers, and cans to the Lab and participate in an insightful discussion about the inherent creativity of trash, where waste comes from, and where it ultimately ends up.


Trash Safari
Saturday, September 3, 2011, 2–5 pm

Participate in a trash safari in the vicinity of the Lab and learn about domestic and public waste in the area. The safari will be led by Basurama, a creative collective based in Boston and Madrid whose work focuses on the study of waste.


Denise Scott Brown in Conversation with Basurama
Saturday, September 3, 2011, 7–9 pm

Architect, writer, and urban planner Denise Scott Brown, a principal of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates and an author of the influential book Learning from Las Vegas, engages in a conversation with Basurama’s Juan López-Aranguren and Pablo Rey Mazón. Join them in a discussion about waste, its role in our lives, its place at the roots of our creativity, and its artistic possibilities in architecture and urbanism.

Garbology: A Trash Tour
Sunday, September 4, 2011, 10–4 pm 12-5 pm

Leaving from: BMW Guggenheim Lab
Mode of transportation: bus

Join creative collectives Basurama and Trashpatch on a bus journey through the five boroughs to investigate the life of trash in New York City. During this narrated tour, explore the consequences of our consumer actions by tracing the routes that trash takes through our urban landscape and the natural environment.

This tour is a public arts tour that investigates the life of trash in New York City. Focusing on plastic waste and the implications that stem from this type of pollution.

Trash takes several routes; household discards are routed through a defined public collection system, street and subway litter follows a pathway through sewers systems, often with the end result of being deposited into local waterways. By navigating the routes that trash takes, we aim to paint a picture of the interplay between trash and the environment. Investigations and public interactions will occur along three routes, each ending at a coastal location where trash is temporarily collected and prepared for further shipping to a processing/dumping facility. By traveling through these routes, we offer an opportunity for people to understand the energy and resources devoted to trash, as well as the degree to which what we produce and use is designed and intended to be disposable.


It is suggested that participants commit to all three events.




UWS Quito. Exchanging space

In collaboration with the Tranvia Cero collective and Al Borde architecs, Basurama is participating in the 9th edition of al zur-ich Urban Art Festival in Quito, developing the project USW Quito, which will take place between 25th August and 18th September.

UWS Quito will be a exchanging experiences space in the Mena District Two, in one of  the several blocks originally scheduled to hold equipment that was never build.

RUS Quito is funded by the Cultural Center of Spain in Quito.