Invisible Materials, Tangible Economies

Most businesses, whether in city neighbourhoods or in industrial or business parks, have their own machines & supplies but hardly interact with other entrepreneurs in their immediate surroundings; they may be seen either as competitors or just as other businesses. Rarely commonalities and potentialities are explored to discover new productive relationships between existing businesses. We believe that such relationships could benefit the entrepreneurs and the neighbourhood of a city as a whole.

Designers by nature have the drive to change the status quo by using new materials & technologies or to find innovative applications of existing ways of making things as to create new products or material effects that reflect and express current cultural phenomena in society. Material research forms therefore an essential activity in a designers' practice. Combining this intuitive urge combined with systems thinking, the designer can explore new opportunities for a circular local economy.

So the aim of this workshop is twofold; on the one hand it researches material flows in a certain neighbourhood in order to create new productive relationships (services and products) between existing businesses and on the other hand it wants to explore new effects through experimentation with as-found materials & techniques, thereby creating a synergy between the interests of businesses and the desire of designers.

For whom?

This workshop is for industrial companies and/or associations of undertakings interested in circular economy, and for designers interested in working with unfamiliar materials.


The methodology of the workshop consists of physically and visually mapping machines and material flows in a neighbourhood, designing new productive relations and prototyping potential new products and services, all in an iterative fashion.


The output of the workshop is a booklet with visual maps of businesses, materials and machines and the results of material experiments done by the participants, which represent potential new products and services.


Dirk Osinga

Lukas Wegwerth


Interested? Get in touch with us here


Share this workshop here

Previous Workshops