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Eco Pioneers

The following weeks we’ll look back at DDW defining the key thematic storylines and coinciding content of 2020. On this page you'll find everything about the DDW20 theme Eco Pioneers.

As the boundaries between design and science become increasingly blurred, we are discovering how biology can be used to create products, processes and environments in synergy with the world of nature. This technological progress calls into question the ethical role of the designer. Where do we draw the line? On this page, you will find more about the DDW20 theme Eco Pioneers and the designers who think about the role of biology in design.

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DDW Talks: Eco Pioneers

During DDW, all DDW Tracks were covered daily in a talk show on DDW TV. On Wednesday 21 October, Next Nature Network organised the DDW Talk: Eco Pioneers, in which the footprint we as people leave behind was explored with various guests. Mankind has such a profound impact on the planet that it creates objects that would not exist without our interference, objects that will remain long after we are gone. The DDW Talks: Eco Pioneers offers a different perspective on our (digital and ecological) footprint on the planet. Check out the talk below!

The pioneers of today

During the last edition of the festival, several DDW20 participants shared their projects at the crossroads between biology and design. Uprooting Agro-Systems looked at the current global food chain, which has provided many jobs globally, but is also responsible for one of the most polluting global networks at the moment. Today, this agricultural sector has reached its ecological limits. Could we set up cities in the near future in such a way that they can be agriculturally self-sufficient? Discover it in the 3D Viewing Room.

When you die, will you be waste or compost? For this project Studio Hendrikx and Loop Biotech researched different ways to be one with nature as a human being. With Living Coffin they designed the world's first living coffin, with which we do not pollute the soil but rather enrich it by giving it new life. Human nutrients are thus brought back into the life cycle of our planet in the most natural way possible. During DDW, our very own Otis already talked to Bob about the project in one of the Instagram Live Q&As. Curious to find out more? Check out Living Coffin's 3D Viewing Room below!

Eco Pioneers on DDW TV

We may live in a digital age, but we still live in a material world and physical artifacts still play an important role in design research. The emergence of new biological materials - living matter - is therefore a fascinating challenge for designers. How can new materials help designers create products that are decomposed, or that integrate and blend with our human body and our natural environment? How can living materials allow products to function in a new and efficient way? Could these new materials encourage us to re-evaluate 'life' itself? In Design United - Living Matters, Isolde Hallensleben spoke with several speakers about the above themes. The episode was broadcast live on DDW TV during DDW, but you can also watch the broadcast below!

The Exploded View

The project The Exploded View was developed for the Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building of World Design Embassies. In the form of a maquette of a house that has been pulled apart, the project stands for the radical rethinking of the realisation of a house: pulling apart and dissecting the endless number of applications present in a house in order to rebuild it with circular applications and bio-based materials. From applications and materials that already exist but still find it difficult to find their way to the construction site, to developments that still need serious support to develop and scale up. Applications and materials of today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

The Exploded View overview © Nanno Simonis & Eric Melander

Food for Buzz by Atelier Boelhouwer is a series of artificial flowers that serve as an emergency food supply for exhausted and hungry insects. By using places where normal flowers cannot grow, the aim of Food for Buzz is to support and strengthen the insect population. Creator Matilde Boelhouwer was part of Driving Dutch Design this year and won a Dutch Design Award in the Design Research category. Curious? Take a look at the 3D Viewing Room below!

All DDW20 themes

Curious about the other thematic storylines of DDW20? View all DDW themes here.