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IMS Innovation Day

The 'Innovatieprogramma Mobiele Stad (IMS, Innovation Programme Mobile City) by our Research Readerschip Places & Traces organizes an innovation day on the 11th of December. The project aims to develop and test concrete innovations in integrating policies for mobility, technology, space, and place in Dutch urban regions. IMS is a collaboration between Universiteit Twente, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Bureau Noordzuiden and DAE. Together, they will research a number of combined issues in the fields of infrastructure, mobility and spatial development in/around cities in five Dutch provinces: Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, and Gelderland. The 11th of December will be dedicated to experimenting. The city of Arnhem is our laboratory.

[More information (Dutch)]

A different take on waste: NWO project crowned with a prize

Research project RE-source has won the prestigious Dutch Design Award 2019 in the category "design research". The project maps waste streams in Rotterdam and provides strategies to tackle these in a different manner, not as waste but as a source of raw materials.

Describing a challenge, designing a solution for that, seeing whether it works, modifying the design, investigating it again and then readjusting it. In a nutshell, that is design research. 'Meanwhile, you not only examine which design works best, but mainly which new ways you can use to approach such a problem', says David Hamers, project leader of RE-source. He is a lector at the Design Academy Eindhoven and a researcher at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. 'This approach does not deliver a ready-made design like in the world of engineering, but it does yield surprising new approaches. You discover how you can reframe such a problem. Hence the name of our project: RE-source.'

Turning the system upside down

RE-source is a collaboration between Design Academy Eindhoven/Readership in Places and Traces, VU Amsterdam/Design Cultures, Studio Ester van de Wiel and Rotterdam City Council. The project investigates how residual waste can be reused as a source of raw materials. The two-year project is funded by NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities and the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA, within the programme "Smart Culture – Arts and Culture". It is now in the concluding phase. 'We do not work in a neatly defined laboratory', says Hamers, 'but at the centre of daily practice in Rotterdam. We create new situations in an existing system, as a result of which that system is briefly turned upside down, and, ultimately improved.'

Raw material for something new

RE-source focuses on five materials that play a role in the public space and that residual waste flows provide: paving stones, street furniture, sludge, plant material and grass. 'These materials are very visible in the city', says Hamers, 'but what you do not see are the other systems in which they now function and in which they subsequently disappear out of sight on a waste pile. How do those systems work and how can you intervene in these?'

The researchers work together with a wide range of parties, from pavers to policymakers and from the municipal parks department to managers of material depots. Hamers takes grass as an example. 'Ecological grass management means mowing less', he says, 'but that therefore yields more grass per occasion mown, which you can no longer leave lying there but have to dispose of. Now that grass leaves the city via the contractors where it is eventually composted. But you can also use it as raw material for something new.'

Upcycling

One of the RE-Source researchers designed a process in which the grass is processed into high-value paper products, such as stationary or paper flowers, which can be used as a promotional gift. Hamers: 'What you would otherwise dispose of now acquires a higher value through upcycling due to its aesthetic and symbolic function. It is something unique to Rotterdam that tells a story about the circular city.'

Grass is the simplest example in the project, says Hamers. For the other materials, the story is more complex. As a second example, he refers to the benches from the public space, which are now often removed for a long period if they need to be repaired. The team designed a way of giving the benches a public function in the intervening period as equipment for a workout. 'A performance-based approach enables people to think about materials in an entirely different manner', says Hamers.

Social questions

The aim of the subprojects is to give a stimulus to circular thinking. 'For this, we combine design practice with research methods from the humanities', says Hamers. 'By choosing different entry points, we can do research in a very different manner and exert an influence on society. That is a valuable addition to the existing research palette and also necessary if we are to tackle the major societal issues we currently face'. He laughs. 'And doing it is great fun too.'

[Full English version]

[Full Dutch version]

Re-source wins DDA '19

 

We are very proud to announce that the RE-source project has won the Dutch Design Awards in the category Design Research! The RE-source project is a collaboration by Design Academy Eindhoven – readership Places and Traces, VU design cultures and designer Ester van de Wiel. The project maps urban residual flows and designs strategies to convert these residual flows into a "source", a source from which we can draw again and again. The project is funded by NWO+SIA smart culture – arts and culture.

DDA commission on RE-source
‘This is a cooperation at the highest level on the very current topic of circularity. RE-source is a classic example of thorough design research, in which various meanings of sustainability take shape. Their extensive and qualitative research results in a layered website where all the actors (design language, moving images, materials and experts) are beautifully interwoven. The RE-source project hits all the right notes and besides that, knows how to give a complex theme an attractive playfulness. The project has a richness that does justice to the complexity of the subject, from accessible projects to academic applications. Specifically, it provides new design-through-research insights and encourages other parties in the field of circularity to take action.’

RE-source team⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
All the designers in the project are DAE alumni. One of the five designers is Simone Post (BA Man and Living '15 CumLaude), who has mapped the residual flow of grass in the city of Rotterdam. Simone's project shows us the diversity of grass vegetation and makes the possibilities of a new kind of "paper management" visible. And what makes this even more special, Simone has also won the Dutch Design Award for Young Designer of 2018.
The four other designers who each research their own residual flow are Thom Bindels (BA Man & Leisure '17, CumLaude), Jos Klarenbeek (BA Man & Public Space '15), Paul Slot (BA Public Private '17, CumLaude), Manon van Hoeckel (BA Man and Leisure '15, CumLaude). The whole RE-source team consists of Ester van de Wiel, Joost Adriaanse, David Hamers, Ginette Verstraete, We-Are-Amp, Oddsized and Gemeente Rotterdam.

Go to http://www.re-source.info/ and to https://www.designacademy.nl/research/places-and-traces/re-source for more information on the other designers and their own particular residual flow.
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RE-source nominated for DDA 2019

 

We are very proud to announce that the RE-source project has won the Dutch Design Awards in the category Design Research! The RE-source project is a collaboration by Design Academy Eindhoven – readership Places and Traces, VU design cultures and designer Ester van de Wiel. The project maps urban residual flows and designs strategies to convert these residual flows into a "source", a source from which we can draw again and again. The project is funded by NWO+SIA smart culture – arts and culture.

DDA commission on RE-source
‘This is a cooperation at the highest level on the very current topic of circularity. RE-source is a classic example of thorough design research, in which various meanings of sustainability take shape. Their extensive and qualitative research results in a layered website where all the actors (design language, moving images, materials and experts) are beautifully interwoven. The RE-source project hits all the right notes and besides that, knows how to give a complex theme an attractive playfulness. The project has a richness that does justice to the complexity of the subject, from accessible projects to academic applications. Specifically, it provides new design-through-research insights and encourages other parties in the field of circularity to take action.’

RE-source team
All the designers in the project are DAE alumni. One of the five designers is Simone Post (BA Man and Living '15 CumLaude), who has mapped the residual flow of grass in the city of Rotterdam. Simone's project shows us the diversity of grass vegetation and makes the possibilities of a new kind of "paper management" visible. And what makes this even more special, Simone has also won the Dutch Design Award for Young Designer of 2018.
The four other designers who each research their own residual flow are Thom Bindels (BA Man & Leisure '17, CumLaude), Jos Klarenbeek (BA Man & Public Space '15), Paul Slot (BA Public Private '17, CumLaude), Manon van Hoeckel (BA Man and Leisure '15, CumLaude). The whole RE-source team consists of Ester van de Wiel, Joost Adriaanse, David Hamers, Ginette Verstraete, We-Are-Amp, Oddsized and Gemeente Rotterdam.

Go to http://www.re-source.info/ and to https://www.designacademy.nl/research/places-and-traces/re-source for more information on the other designers and their own particular residual flow.