phd research week 41

book-citizen notes copy

Week highlighted by two workshops I attended, quite connected to each other.

Workshop: RSA Exclusive - Design and the Circular Economy #CircularEconomy www.greatrecovery.org.uk

An afternoon of activities and discussion around designing for a circular economy, began with a talk by the RSA’s Co-Director of Design Sophie Thomas, and a facilitated a hands-on workshop taking apart everyday household products to understand how they are designed, made and recycled, and how this could be improved with some circular thinking. Sophie Thomas shared a very interesting publication, the 1042 Citizen Notes, a reference on how to live in times of rationing and the tight regulations of War.  The most interesting section was around waste of paper, it was forbidden to use paper for unnecessary advertising or throw away.

Reflection points: - Can we use the emotional anticipation of current design strategies towards social good? - Can the designer build a network around his practice as to involve other stakeholders in collaboration towards circular economy? How can a designer build this network? - Lateral thinking is essential for thinking about complexity: economy, people, things, making.. - The circular economy design should be framed positively: if it is seen as a new set of "constraints" (the resources and economic limits) most designers would thrive on designing for these constraint. - How do we talk to designers about engaging in eco-design potentials? - Designers need to know how to speak to other actors: circularity demands conversation. - Main barriers towards circular economy might be there is no knowledge accessible on where the opportunity is. - Free flow is essential to sustainability. - Resources are our value systems, they make up who we are.  This conception needs to change our relationship towards materials.

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Workshop: Asset Mapping & Opportunity Realisation, organised by European Alternatives at Makerversity Somerset House

European Alternatives is a creative cooperative powered by young people in 12 cities across Europe.  The workshop was facilitated by Alt Gen & Imagine Spain.  It focused the potential of social innovation processes to bring about widespread social and environmental benefits for society.   Using interactive and collaborative tools of visual mapping, asset mapping and opportunity realisation, the workshop allowed the group to recognise its potential to move forward to a future they would like to see. The workshop kicked off with a fiery discussion questioning if a 'shared common vision' of a better future was common to everyone. Can we assume that values and what constitutes a "good living" is the same for everyone?   Different backgrounds and life experiences lead us to believe in what we do, and all agreed on the point that, at least, love, friendship, belonging should be values shared across all cultures towards a greater future.  The collaborative development of ideas through individual and shared assets was engaging.  My group developed a pitch for a social theatre project, an idea that combined everyone's skill sets and knowledge. It was a fantastic afternoon spent with brilliant minds, each working within their practice towards a greater future that, we can all agree, is ultimately what we are all striving to achieve.