News & Events

U-Café: exploring the potentials of up-cycling

The concept of upcycling is recognised as only successful if the general public not only recognise these new potentials in waste material, but are also motivated to do something with them too.  What is not currently known, is the willingness of people to own a handbag made from materials once regarded as rubbish or waste, or live in a building insulated with material of a similar origin.  How, and why would people of very different social, economic and cultural backgrounds choose to engage with up-cycled products, if at all?  To gauge a range of possible perceptions around notions of waste, value and utility, an interdisciplinary team of academics and students from Newcastle University are constructing a Café made from materials described as rubbish or waste. The structure of ‘Café Waste’ will be cardboard and plastic, and has been designed to function as a working café.  This is intended as a space where people of different ages, and from different neighbourhoods of Newcastle, will be invited to participate in a research dialogue with members of the project team. It is hoped that, by encouraging research participants to experience waste materials in new ways, it will be possible to explore the potential value of up-cycled products and components.

U-Café will be open for business between Tuesday 16 and Thursday 18 April, and we invite you to come along and get involved.  All ‘customers’ will get a free cup of coffee.  You will find Café in the new Fine Art Lobby - opposite Northern Stage.

Tuesday 16th April 

0930 to 1700

With recitals from Hadrian Primary School's up-cycled orchestra 

Wednesday 17th April

0930 to 1600

Featuring screenings of short film, 'Second Hand Sureshots'

Thursday 18th April

0930 to 1700

With an afternoon of live music from Junk Agency