Sticky and Stranded in Copenhagen: Reporting from Trash-2-Cash WS05

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Copenhagen was strangely sultry for mid-September.  Each morning as we walked/metro-ed/uber-ed our way to Copenhagen Business School the sun was warm and uplifting.  But then as the day progressed it became uncomfortably sticky until the cool relief of the late summer evenings. This unseasonal weather seemed to set the tone for the meeting.

 

We greeted each other with the broad smiles and genuine embraces which only come with the familiarity of a year’s worth of working together.  Although there was an anticipation about the difficult questions we had to answer over the two-day workshop, the atmosphere was warm and optimistic (something that the Skype calls has rarely managed to achieve).

 

In the morning we proceeded with the planned talks and activities, sharing knowledge about T2C materials on a tour of R&D islands.  In the heat of the afternoon, we started to explore our design islands.  Navigating from materials R&D to new design concepts was tricky at first, it took a while for people to adjust to the unfamiliarity of design applications – the journey could have been smoother.  At the end of Day 1 it wasn’t clear if we had achieved everything we had intended; had the two areas of materials knowledge from science and design cross-pollinated or simply passed each other by?  And some difficult questions about project direction remained unresolved.

 

By contrast Day 2 was a dramatic voyage.  We started by raising again the project direction issues in an open discussion.  There was an uncomfortable uncertainty as partners discussed their contribution to solving the problems.  Through some brilliant tools and mediation from our lead facilitator from Material Connexion and the generous collaboration of all of the partners, gradually the indecision turned into commitments and the sticky discomfort changed to excited optimism.

 

As we fed back the previous day’s Design and R&D Island work to the whole group, we began to see the project pulling together in a synchronicity that hadn’t been possible before.  The project materials lined up with the manufacturing capabilities and we began to see the types of products they could become.

 

The joy after a truly intense, sticky and rocky 2 Day journey was palpable: “This was the best workshop yet”.  Even if at times it felt like we might at any moment become stranded, the hard work of working together paid off.

 

My big takeaway from Copenhagen: “we need uncomfortable moments to progress”

 

And the result?  By workshop 06 in London we will have our first design concepts and our first Trash-2-Cash material samples.

New Trash-2-Cash Podcast – Meet Tina

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In this new podcast, Trash-2-Cash Researcher Tina Mueller of Copenhagen Business School explains why the Intention-Behavior gap is important in understanding consumer perceptions of recycled goods. To learn more about social marketing and sustainability research from the customer’s perspective, go to iTunes or SoundCloud to listen. Don’t forget to subscribe so you receive all new episodes automatically!

TED Associate Researcher to Speak at TEDxSydneySalons

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TED Associate Researcher Clara Vuletich will speak at the first session of TEDxSydneySalons next week. This new series of intimate events will be held across the year, combining talks, films, music and more.

 

The inaugural Salon focuses on the theme of sustainability and takes place at a very special location – the top floor of Tower Two, International Towers at Barangaroo, home to a unique sustainable development plan and, of course, a sensational new view of the city.

 

The lineup includes recycling expert Garth Lamb, who seeks to inspire us to take smarter approaches to recover and reuse materials; 2016 TEDxSydney alumni speaker Clara Vuletich talks more about her work in the sustainable fashion space and how we can engage with ethical fashion; ant ecologist and science communicator, Kirsti Abbott looks at our literal relationship with the little things beneath our feet; and Nij Lal talks about the science of solar, and the future of sunshine. The program also includes films, music and a chance to get together after the event to discuss, share and inspire.

 

Date: Thursday 22 September 2016, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: North Lobby, Tower Two, International Towers, 200 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney

 

Tickets available here

Social Innovation in Fashion

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5th– 7th September

 

One of our current PhD researchers Emmeline Child has just presented at the International Conference for Social Innovation ISIRC2016 in Glasgow. Here she was presenting how her methods in fashion design, have led to Social Innovation in the Industry. Emmeline was drawing from her experience as a practitioner and through her PhD research, which is looking to develop design led models that can be implemented to increase levels of upcycling within the fashion industry.

 

Presenting in a predominantly business and management based environment places our fashion and textile design research at the forefront of this changing global market.  Showcasing these ‘design thinking’ strategies demonstrates how beneficial the work of designers and practitioners can be in the workplace today.

 

Emmeline notes that;

 

‘The impact of a clear vision can plant the seed of change to make a more sustainable future. Through cross-fertilization and careful nurturing, the impact can be wider than anything you initially intended. ‘The path to a more beautiful world can come from vast plans and small gestures… as long as the strategy bears the needs of future visitors in mind’ (McDonough and Braungart, 2015, p.180). It can be insightful to seek outside the social innovation paradigms for tested examples that can inform models for success in the future.’

Enabling Research to Change

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Our Swedish project partner Mistra Future Fashion has opened up a new funding opportunity;  Enabling Research to Change. It’s a call for new ideas that contribute to a systemic change of the fashion industry, making it circular and more sustainable. 60, 000 are offered to support new ideas for enabling research to change.

 

The clock is ticking for the transformation needed for the fashion industry to become sustainable. Efforts to find breakthrough ways to change are right now happening around the world. Most prominent researchers are engaged, supported by front running fashion companies. To stretch further – this is a call for additional breakthrough ideas that are worth being further explored! Mistra Future Fashion offers 60,000 € to support new ideas for enabling research to change.

 

Mistra Future Fashion is one the biggest research programs in the world and consists of a consortium of researchers and fashion industry actors that act towards the change – on how to design for circular economy, how to promote a more sustainable circular supply chain, how to enable user to act sustainable, and how to increase recycling. We now call for new additional ideas and partners that can strengthen our efforts on our journey to enable a systemic change of fashion industry.

 

Key focus areas that will be prioritized are “Digitalization”, “Implementation” and “Scale-up of Services”.

 

Deadline 30th of November 2016

THE BIG FIX

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TED PhD Researcher Bridget Harvey would like to invite you to Hackney Fixers second festival of repairing – THE BIG FIX.

 

Once again there will be the cramming of as much repair activity as possible into one space, featuring:

 

  • The Restart Project, electrical and electronic repair
  • Traid: clothing and textile repair, and upcycling
  • School of Stuff: chair repair advice
  • Hackney Bike Workshop: cycle checks and repairing
  • Sugru, repair demonstrations and more…

 

All the people involved are passionate repairers who will help you to repair your own things – bring along your broken stuff and learn skills to fix it!

 

Bring, fix, learn, enjoy…and it’s free!

 

Date: Saturday 17th September, 12pm – 4pm
Location: The Gallery, Stoke Newington Library, Edward’s Lane N16 0JS, London

 

The Restart Project   TRAID   The School of Stuff   Sugru   Hackney Bike Workshop

Discovering new Islands: preparations for Workshop 05

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This reflective blogpost is written by one of TED’s Trash-2-Cash Post-Doctorial Researcher’s Dr. Rosie Hornbuckle about the process of getting ready for next week’s workshop session in Copenhagen.

 

Each Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project workshop brings new challenges for the methodology team.  The process of planning the activities which form the basis of the design-science interactions is in itself an experimental collaborative design process.  We begin by sharing ideas around some key objectives for the workshop, we identify current challenges that we need to address and try to come up with appropriate ways to do this in the workshop using methods and tools from our collective experience.  Sometimes this means devising experimental workshop sessions, other times all that is needed is a conventional PowerPoint presentation or an open discussion.  And then occasionally – to our great relief – a situation arises where we can repeat activities that we know have worked in previous T2C workshops (WS).

 

WS05 in Copenhagen is based on one of these ‘tried and tested’ activities. Julie Hornix from design agency VanBerlo, recalled a session that Material Connection had prepared for WS01 in Stockholm, way back in September 2015 (timely that it is reappearing exactly one year on).  In its first appearance the session was described as a ‘marketplace’ with scientists each having a ‘stall’ to share the different fibre technologies they would be developing in the project.  Our methodology team recalled that it had been a particularly effective and engaging way to share knowledge, introducing designers to the materials they would be helping to develop, using samples, videos and diagrams instead of scientific datasheets or dense papers.

 

Right now, we are at a Milestone in the project where Fibre Prototype 1 has been produced and so, once again our materials scientists have significant new knowledge to share with all of the partners.  Differently, this time, designers also have work to present: new design briefs and Concept Areas have been developed from all of our scenario work, and in Copenhagen our design and manufacturing partners will be choosing which Concept Areas they want to work on in more depth.

 

This time instead of a marketplace we have decided that Islands are an appropriate place for interdisciplinary discovery: groups will visit each island in turn to unearth the newly formed gems of scientific endeavor and design ideas.

 

On our Science Islands visitors will be able to see the first scientific results demonstrated through fibre samples with the best scientists in their field on hand to answer probing questions.

 

On our Design Islands visitors with discover material and product samples showing cutting edge design in three different types of application. Leading textile and industrial designers will provoke, translate and ideate to develop Concept Areas through discussion. They will be on hand to respond to questions from the scientists and manufacturers about how these design visions align with technical material challenges.

 

WS05 promises to be an exciting moment for all of the T2C partners: the methodology team get to use a repeatable workshop design; the scientists get to present their first results and glimpse the types of products their fibres could become; manufacturers can start to realise the types of textile structures and finishes that they will be able to test; designers will finally get something tangible and meaningful to work with: real materials and actual product concepts.

Chelsea College of Arts Postgraduate Summer Show 2016

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03 Sep – 09 Sep 2016

Catch the ‘up and coming’ artists and designers of tomorrow at the Chelsea College of Arts Postgraduate Summer Show, featuring work by graduating students from the following courses:

 

MA Fine Art

MA Graphic Design Communication

MA Interior & Spatial Design

MA Textile Design

MA Curating & Collections

 

Private View:
Monday 5th September 6pm – 9pm

Open to general public:
Saturday 3rd September – 11am – 5pm
Sunday 4th September – 11am – 5pm
Monday 5th September – 10am – 9pm
Tuesday 6th September – 10am – 8pm
Wednesday 7th September – 10am – 8pm
Thursday 8th September – 10am – 8pm
Friday 9th September – 10am – 8pm

 

Location:
Chelsea College of Arts
16 John Islip Street, London
SW1P 4JU

 

Sign up to the events mailing list to receive more information and an invitation to the Private View

Going round in circles…. Can coloured fashion and textiles be sustainable? By Dr. Dawn Ellams

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For most designers the relationship we have with colour is a huge part of our personal handprint on the work we create; and as consumers colour is all around us and is an integral part of the decision making process for purchases. However, when aiming to produce future sustainable fashion and textiles the environmental consequences of the creation and application of colour and the implications of the processes used are less obvious.

 

Embarking on my PhD I was fascinated by how such a complex, integral piece of fashion textile design and production, profoundly reliant on petrochemical resources, can evolve to fit within a model of sustainability. My research explored reducing the environmental impact of coloured fashion textiles, exploring the life cycle of products through an interdisciplinary approach where the creativity of design thinking is underpinned by the technical inquiry of coloration technology, to provide models for short-term and long-term solutions for sustainability.

 

A reoccurring thread within my research is natural versus synthetic. Although in some very niche, small, local cases natural may be better, on a commercial, large scale it is much more complex.  Producing coloured fashion and textiles requires two key elements – fibre and dyestuff. Navigating my way through fibre choices was at times daunting, but ultimately I decided to work with a regenerated cellulose fibre, Lyocell, which is technically ‘natural’ but produced within a manmade chemical process.

 

This fibre choice set up a biological life cycle framework to work within to create sustainable coloured fashion textiles. For colour choice (dyestuff), the natural versus synthetic argument raged much more zealously, with the only definitive conclusion on offer being whether from natural or synthetic sources, all colour for textiles has some level of negative environmental impacts. In the end it’s all about appropriateness.

 

Frustrated by being just an observer and desperately needing more definitive answers to how sustainable coloured fashion textiles can be designed and produced, I carved out a space for my research in the ‘space in-between’ science and design. Through my project this context became a place to explore sustainable textiles from ‘within’ the system; not from a purely design or science perspective, but from an obscure and fascinating little area in the middle where the disciplines intertwine.

 

Working at this design/technology interface enabled me to create definitive outcomes for my research, negatives would become positives and vice versa, as the two disciplines collided within my provocative new space. This provided both the creative methods and outcomes but also, vitally for me, underpinned with environmental credentials. As a designer I began not just to understand but also challenge the technical implications of my design decisions, using this new knowledge to ultimately design product life cycles.

 

I was incredibly fortunate to have an amazing supervisor during my research, a colour chemist who loved learning about design as much as I loved learning about science. It was this relationship between a chemist and a designer, the openness and trust we developed – constantly challenging and questioning the other – and ultimately jumping together into the ‘space in-between’ from which the developed interdisciplinary methodology from my research emerged.

 

My research concluded that both sustainable and responsible coloration is possible at a commercial scale within cyclical models of design and production.

The First Trash-2-Cash Podcast

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During the Trash-2-Cash workshop in Milan in the beginning of the summer, Professor Becky Earley sat down with project partner Julie Hornix (VanBerlo) to talk social design, megatrends, and summer reading recommendations. This is the first podcast in a series that will explore the people, methods and tools involved in the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project. Once the outcomes phase of the project has been completed they will also host in-depth discussions about the impact these will have on the world. You can download the podcast on iTunes or Soundcloud now! Julie has written the post below to accompany the podcast.

 

Over the past couple of months Ivo, Marjorie and I have had the pleasure of taking part in the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project representing the Dutch design agency VanBerlo.

 

VanBerlo is passionate about helping our planet.
We’re also passionate about design and technological opportunities. So for us, this partnership was a match made in heaven. Here’s a short round up of our role and goals for T2C.

 

Dream Green!
At VanBerlo, we crave new approaches to the re-use of materials and waste reduction. To dream is to think big, and by thinking big you can come up with countless ideas to help the environment through design. We love to bridge the ideas with the visual, enabling us to go that one step further.

Joining the T2C project, VanBerlo’s goal is to help recycle textile from a design-driven perspective. Alongside the other T2C partners, we aim to increase the value of the end product (instead of traditional downcycling) – to upcycle and contribute to the grave to cradle initiative – no matter which industry is involved.

 

Not only do we bring global trend research to the table, but we also explore ideas in novel ways that help to produce surprising insights.
As our Senior Designer Ivo Lamers explains,“We believe that design thinking will help bridge the gap between science, technology and practice. This approach helps to boost the entire T2C project! At VanBerlo we often use metaphors to get discussions started, intensified, structured or sometimes even ended. Using the superhero metaphor during the Helsinki workshop initiated a huge team spark and helped to create common understanding and a common language between the partners about scenarios.”

 

We make sure that our ideas aren’t just cool; but that they also answer business challenges and user needs.
At the end of the day success for us is that the results should be accessible and globally relevant, rather than just being created for a niche market.

Julie Hornix, Design Researcher, Van Berlo

 

Podcast Links

VanBerlo

Change Ahead book

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close book

This American Life podcast

99% invisible podcast