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 are commonalities and potentialities explored to discover new productive relationships between existing businesses. We believe that these new and potentially productive 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 with new materials & techniques or to find innovative applications of existing materials & techniques so 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 the 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 to explore new material 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.

Methodology

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.

Output

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.

Designers

Dirk Osinga

Lukas Wegwerth

Booking

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