madeleine monshausen / spatial design •̀ᴗ• office, retail & residential / contemporary work environment development / berlin /  / +49 172 8686672 /ABOUT

 CONCLUSIONS TO FUMBLE AROUND WITH © / collectively rendering local sustainability aesthetics - a hub /  2022 / 23   /  (::[]::)   //   FEMININE FOUNDATIONS  /  MYCELIUM  / LABŌRĀRE _ FACERE  /  FREE NOW /  MISCELLANEOUS /  HOME

Conclusions to Fumble Around With (CTFAW) is a non-profit project of mine, that introduces ideas, procedures, developments or any kind of information on sustainable building materials, that I have come across and have passionately been collecting. I aim to contribute to the development of an appealing sustainable aesthetic, by giving those developments a combined visual frame and setting them in relation to each other- supporting and creating a collective exchange about it. This project was initially designed as a spatial installation in order to show the collection in real life, but is currently on hold due to the lack of time- this is a digital preview.  Of course there is not ONE approach, that makes anything sustainable. In the end it is the mindset in designing things to consider the complex issues we’re facing today. Many aspects of a design can be sustainable on different levels. In order to include this complexity in the collection, the displayed items are categorised in different areas of sustainable factors. This is a growing and ever changing collection, that aims to embed ideas in design processes and raise awareness.Get in touch if you’d like to contribute to the hub or join the exchange in the future!



MISCELLANY OF ELEMENTS (to be continued ∞  ):


The expectations we have on flawless execution can significantly affect the resources used to create an object or space. Adjusting to  mistakes during an execution process or integrating imperfections can have a great impact on the energetic footprint. In some designs, those imperfections are even celebrated as a visual element of history or nature, telling a story and providing uniqueness. The “readability” of historic aspects are a crucial part of any design to me. 


Traditional methods are often inherently low-resource approaches, using what’s available in nature or locally. We can learn a lot from looking back and adapting what might be relevant today again. At the same time we have to reconsider standard building materials, such as concrete and steel and revive “old-fashioned” materials such as wood or brick. Pictured above: a selection of traditional plaster techniques.

To balance sustainable design choices between low grey-energy products or methods and appropriate durability is complex and requires a careful comparison of material properties and manufacturing processes. An eco-friendly produced material won’t be suitable if it is not appropriately durable and might have to be replaced or repaired frequently.

Understanding all elements of a production chain and analysing them in terms of a circular economy, work ethics/ fair trade is essential to any sustainable thought process and I believe there isn’t an easy approach to it, but looking at each element in depth every time or ideally knowing the people involved personally. 
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New technologies and materials offer fascinating solutions that develop quickly and for each project I try to incorporate contemporary developments, aiming to inspire and open new horizons of possibilities an support visions of a future that has solutions to our challenges. 


In order to create long-lasting  solutions, considerations for easy repairs, replacements of parts or adjustability and flexibility are crucial. At the same time the final disposal or recyclability are important factors of an eco-friendly approach. 

Creating new elements or materials from disposed objects or byproducts from other productions is automatically creating a strong, unique sustainable aesthetic. An eco-friendly basic with a long tradition. 

Collaboration, exchange and connection is essential in a sustainable approach to design. Supporting local materials and connecting with local craftswomen and craftsmen to learn from each other is not only eco-friendly, it also strengthens the sense of community and interdependence. 

A variety of platforms and stores specialise in collecting and selling discarded building materials and elements. Second-hand, leftovers from constructions, discontinued items, etc. Sometimes you’ll find fantastic pieces for an affordable price, that might otherwise not have been within your budget.



The center of the sustainable architectural  approach is of course to reach a reasonable balance of costs of materials, grey energy/energy saving building methods and an energy-efficient result. All these aspects aim to support creativity in finding the right balance and finding the beauty in each aspect. 

© all miscellany images by DALL-E and me


 CTFW BLOG / INSPIRATIONS  (*゚ノO゚)<オオォォォォーーーイ!

 04 2023  / REUSE & RESEARCH #1 : THE “WHAT’S THAT” MOMENT /  One thing I have come across frequently, is that new ideas and technologies in sustainable architectural approaches are often met with curiosity and fascination. In my approaches I celebrate that moment and thrive in using new or weird technologies to support participation in the matter through that moment of surprise. 

 04 2023  / RECOVER/REMEMBER #1 : THE BEAUTY OF THE ACCIDENTAL / “The morphological accident of the squeezed toothpaste does not escape the fine ornamental stereotype” / Sculptures Involontaires  / © Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, VEGAP, Figueres, 1933 © Estate Brassaï Succession - Philippe Ribeyrolles / I came across this image while working on a presentation about “objets trouvé” and instantly fell in love with it. It is part of the fantastic photo series “Sculptures Involontaires” by Dali and  Brassaï, all of which tell fantastic stories through “imperfections” of found objects, highlighting the beauty in the depth created by purpose  /