Thomas Rau presents Turntoo at Material Xperience

What if we could completely change our perspective? In particular, if we looked at the consumption of resources in the world from a new angle? The radical approach developed by architect Thomas Rau will be the subject of his presentation at Material Xperience 2014.

His ideas are collected in the Turntoo concept, which is a fundamental change in the way that products, buildings and other designs are discussed. Broadly speaking, the idea is that any product – from a plank of wood to a skyscraper – is a resource bank for raw materials.

From this, it follows that the material contained within is still there at the end of the product’s lifecycle. This means that we have a responsibility to make use of that material. A building may be taken down after 30 years, but the steel within is still perfectly usable.

This is not just a moral and environmental responsibility. It also presents an opportunity. As an example, by thinking of a building as a huge collection of materials with contained potential, we can attach a value to those materials.

Combine this with what a consumer really wants: a service, rather than an object. You want adequate lighting in your home, you don’t need light-bulbs per se.

This gives rise to the motto, “Change your perspective and create new insights”, which speaks for Thomas Rau himself. He is a German architect who has long been based in the Netherlands. Thomas was educated in visual arts and dance and studied architecture at the RWTH Aachen, Germany. Since 1990 he has worked as an architect in Amsterdam, where he founded RAU in 1992. In design work, the practice strives to create energy neutral or even energy-generating buildings. A frequent speaker at home and abroad, Thomas is featured regularly on lists of sustainable leaders.


Thomas Rau’s presentation is organised by Forbo Flooring.

Image credits: Turntoo, Leontine Geffen-Lamers.


  1. MD Sohotra says:

    TURNTOO is aan impressive and convincing Tool voor the experties to enhance their collective efforts for the achievement of a beter liveable physical environment for all the livingspecies inclisive supernatural humanbeings on and in the Globel Village.