Launched in Fall 2015, the Material Exchange (ME) is a give-and-take system for students to donate materials and take what they need for studio and fabrication coursework, integrating waste reduction into everyday studio culture. Located within the UTSOA Technology Lab within Sutton Hall, the ME has become a well-utilized resource for sharing chipboard, cardboard, acrylic, and other board materials commonly used for model-making via analog and digital fabrication techniques. The ME is available to all UT Austin students during times when the Technology Lab is open.
The ME was designed to address the 2020 Zero Waste Goals set by the President's Sustainability Steering Committee and adopted into the 2016 Sustainability Master Plan for the UT Austin Campus. In 2017, estimates indicate waste diversion is nearing 60% campus-wide with a goal of reaching 90% in the next three years.
Research and initial operational funding for the Material Exchange was provided by the Office of Sustainabilty and their Green Fee grant program. The ME continues as a collective effort of students, staff, and faculty with support from the Materials Lab and Technology Lab staff. For more information or to volunteer, please contact UTSOA faculty Sarah Gamble.