Bottle-Building The Future

Bottle-Building The Future

Showcasing an innovative and stirring piece of architecture at the Oslo Architecture Triennale in September 2019, Rhett Russo and Andreas Theodoridis and Lydia Kallipoliti (ANAcycle), have come together with Friendship Bottles in a bid to polarise the discussion around recycling industrial products as building materials. At the Nordic region’s biggest celebration of building and architecture, Message in a Bottle is engaging in one of the world’s foremost discussion arenas for architectural and urban challenges.

Project leads Rhett Russo, Andreas Theodoridis and Lydia Kallipoliti have come together to create Message in a Bottle, a stimulating assembly of interlocking plastic bottles made by Friendship Products LLC. Each bottle includes a micro-message, telling a story on how to reuse plastic bottles in alternative ways. Making evident their impact on the global plastisphere, viewers of the installation can use an optic lens to see how plastic waste impacts our environment today.

An interactive playspace where everyone can go hands-on with the bottles themselves, Message in a Bottle encourages us to think about our waste and our role in the global plastic epidemic currently sweeping environments. By interlocking the bottles, visitors can understand how they fit together and the potential they hold. Creating upward columns, bottles that visitors can use at the installation can form mountains and bridges, and that is just the beginning.

Fostering a polarising dialogue on all topics regarding recycling industrial products as building materials, Message in a Bottle draws on economic theories of degrowth to question aspects of daily life. The economic theory of “degrowth” broadly states that humanity cannot opt for maximum growth; it is imperative that we must recognise our place in the planetary eco-system of Earth. Rapid growth can cause accelerated loss of resources, ecological stress and unparalleled damage. Rather, degrowth seeks to encourage a return to a decreased flow of consumer products, instead of a continuing cascade of growth.

In that sense, Message in a Bottle questions the limits of linear progress for humanity, imposed in all aspects of production and daily life. With particularly strong sentiments on the plastic material ramifications of sustained rapid growth only serving the growth of capital, the design collaborative (Russo, Theodoridis, Kallipoliti) is  keen to stimulate discussion around how growth can instead be manipulated to create stable cities and urban Bringing together everyday use and collaborative building, Friendship Bottles can be used to carry drinking water before used as structural, interlocking building materials. Designed originally for creating shelters in the event of a natural catastrophe, the bottles are akin to Lego bricks and fit together to create self-sufficient structures, ideal for disaster recovery.

One of the first materials sent to a disaster zone is water and medicine, often in the form of plastic bottles. Seeking to capitalise on that whilst also generating the necessary building blocks for customisable shelters, Friendship Bottles deliver life-saving care, life-enhancing shelter, and planet-saving plastics that don’t end up in the ocean.

Message in a Bottle prompts a vital discussion around the global plastisphere and the reuse of plastics, via a thought-provoking and visually compelling material assembly. and how it can be turned out to phenomenal effect. With a message of resounding clarity and necessary importance, this architectural endeavour will hopefully polarise the discussion as the international focus continues its shift towards environmental sustainability.

Bottle-Building The Future
Bottle-Building The Future


An installation on circular material economies for the Oslo Architecture Trienalle 2019.

Location & Date: Oslo Architecture Trienalle, September 2019.

Project Lead: Rhett Russo, Andreas Theodoridis & Lydia Kallipoliti
Assistants: Erik Pedersen, Seraphim Le, Dakota Pace
Photographs: Petros Pattakos
Project Sponsors: Friendship Products LLC (Timothy Carlson, managing partner)

Company: Friendship Products LLC & ANAcycle thinktank

Contact: Lydia Kallipoliti

Website: &