The ideas behind the idea of UpDown came out of my distress at seeing perfectly serviceable and useful materials being taken off to land fills. Houses were my main concern. It seemed wrong that wood that had come out of forests was being crushed up and dumped. At that time I was building a workshop studio and I was salvaging bits and pieces out of demolition sites. Most of the time and effort was spent in knocking out nails or prising apart glued components. It struck me that the buildings were not designed to be deconstructed. No thought has been given to the intrinsic value of the components. Since no accounting system has been developed to value the ecological capital invested in the pieces of the house, the house was worthless. Well, that is how it seems to me.

I wondered if the building had been designed to allow its disassembly at the end of it life then there might be more interest in deconstructing the house and recycling the components. That concern set me off on an enquiry about shelter and sustainability.

The practical outcome of this been an approach to living where I am interested in simple recycling schemes in housing, in everyday living, in my professional life as a dentist. To maintain and manage systems, they need to be designed to be easily revised. Using irreversible glues, welds, and cements limits the opportunity to recover the individual components of a construction. For some systems (steel boats for example) this fixing is a given. For houses and other goods, it is not.

With respect to houses, I have developed a range of fixtures and fittings that, along with screws, nuts and bolts and specific designs, allows for their construction, deconstruction, and recylcing. I have called this application of the updown idea: UpDown Housing