Our finite natural resources such as oil, coal, natural gas, metals, and minerals are diminishing, while the pressure on water and other organic resources continues to grow. How can we change the way we design, produce, consume, and discard materials in order to live within planetary boundaries?
During the summer semester 2018, greenlab focused on strategies that address the informed choice and application of materials within the context of design for sustainability. Participants of the project, students selected from the departments of Product Design, Textile and Surface Design, and Fashion Design at the weißensee kunsthochschule berlin, were encouraged to develop individual concepts, systems, prototypes and/or services by drawing on circular economy thinking.
In a symposium, in workshops and individual projects, greenlab explored opportunities afforded by natural and manmade materials, small-scale or industrial production methods, closed loop and open source systems, and the various scales of circularity from the local to the global. Cultural concepts – such as the difference between ‘natural‘ and ‘man-made’– were challenged by looking into the possibilities that new fields such as biotechnology offer us, in order to develop sustainable materials and products.
This publication gathers the outcome of the student projects as well as background information on greenlab Collaborators, the Workshops held, an essay by Prof. Dr. Lucy Norris and and Interview with Dr. Flavia Barragan.