LET'S THINK LIKE AN ASTRONAUT FOR A SECOND ...
WE STARTED AS A MINOR PROJECT...
The Circular Collective is an experimental design collective that consists of four young professionals with different backgrounds, including industrial design, political science, natural resource management, and philosophy. Through storytelling as the primary medium, we aspire to build a bridge between science and society, in order to critically reflect upon the dominant techno-solutionist paradigm and the positioning of humanity towards nature. Eventually, we hope that this bridge will allow our works to inspire sustainable and frugal solutions to the ever more pressing threats of climate change.
Our project begins the moment we were brought together by our minor in Frugal Innovations for Sustainable Development. Even though we all came from different studies, our goal was the same: exploring how and under which conditions frugal innovation can contribute to sustainable global transformation processes that serve both people and planet. After a theoretical preparation, which analysed frugal innovation from a social, entrepreneurial and technological viewpoint, the second half of the minor included a practical field assignments for students to conduct in teams until the end of the semester. Our project was called 'Think Like an Astronaut' and lied within SEMiLLA, a research consortium that develops space technology for Earth based circular systems. The task was to produce a virtual exhibition that represented SEMiLLA's work and sustained a frugal mindset. As this mission came with its challenges, we decided to organize well the work. We started with thorough research on the life support systems used in space and frugal living practices around the globe, after which all collected knowledge was merged and synthesized in order to start innovating. Once satisfied with the amount of information, the drawing part began, where creativity was at its peak. As we came up with a final idea that we all liked, we tested our knowledge with the public, since the final product had to be both scientifically accurate and conceptually feasible, all whilst being artistic and inspiring - a very tough combination to obtain. Consequently, the use of surveys helped us testing how our ideas would be perceived. Happy with the result, the last steps included preparing a final report with all of our research, explanation of the design and finally, designing the exhibition!
...AND BECAME A COLLECTIVE
Finally our efforts and work were rewarded. The final outcome proved a success and all of our supervisors seemed enthusiastic with the end result. During our final presention, we hear an interesting idea: participating to the Dutch Design Week, the biggest design event in Northern Europe, with our project. As a result, sustained by the univeristies of TU Delft, Erasmus School of Business and Leiden Univerisity we get together once more after finishing our studies and apply all together under the name of the Circular Collective. To our surprise, we get accepted to display our idea at the Klokgebouw, one of the meain buildings of the entire event. Excited and motivated, we start embarking in the new challenge ahead: builiding our exhibition in reall life.