Recycled technology in Copenhagen’s most untamed neighbourhood

Copenhagen host Jan on the evolution of Refshaleøen

Human Hotel host Jan’s creative collective, 320colab, work with reclaimed and recycled technology on Refshaløen – Copenhagen’s most exciting neighbourhood. Images: 320colab

“I n this time of physical distancing and social closure, I found myself diving into the electronic trash container”.

Jan is a Human Hotel host who lives in Copenhagen in a shared apartment in Sydhavnen- a calm residential area next to the water. He shared his thoughts with us about his experiences during a lockdown. 

”At a time when routines have been subject to radical change, taking out the trash is an activity that we all do on the regular. It’s recurring. If anything, given the necessity of dealing with our by-products, this exercise should up for reconsideration. When we take out the trash, we rarely think about its onward journey. I was curious, so I started diving. To my surprise, the electronic container was full to the brim with working devices, most of the time. Phones, speakers, monitors and their countless cables, an autonomous hoover, 2×2 TB hard drives, and even a can of smashed tomatoes – that evidently missed the point of the bio waste bin.

I was not trying to find anything specific, but I was spoiled for choice. There was always an abundance of functional devices, sometimes fully charged. It made me think: when you throw out something that works, what’s the cost of the update? After all, these objects are manufactured to break. Electronic devices have infused our daily lives and have become an extension of our identity. If it’s part of our identity, maybe we should give it a bit more thought.”

“Exorbitance” project, 2020
Digital collage:

Jan is part of a collective that works at the intersection of art, sound and technology are building an experimental collective out on Refshaleøen – an artificial island that was for a long time an abandoned shipyard, forgotten, that is now evolving to be one of the most sought after spots in the city. Through repurposing materials, they make installations to open up the discussion about a possible circular economy and a future where our privacy can be safeguarded.

Exorbitance (2020) is an experiment emerging from this time of isolation.” It’s hard to tell which direction this exploration will take when it feels like traditional notions of time have been discarded. But let’s see, perhaps in this suspended moment in time we can begin to look at objects from a different perspective.” No longer forgotten,  the area is now evolving to be one of the most sought after spots in the city.

  • Visit Copenhagen to explore the rapidly evolving island, Refshaleøen, and to check out 320colab along with the other exciting projects taking place in this area of the city.


  • You can even stay at Jan’s place if you want to get involved with 320colab, learn more about their work or simply explore the underground creative scene in Copenhagen while staying in his waterfront apartment!

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