In November and December 2015, we organised an exploration trip through Argentina to learn about initiatives and organisations that are actively contributing to find solutions for large environmental and social challenges of Latin America. We learned about their development, their challenges and needs. The main idea of this trip was to research the possibilities to start a structural collaboration. We are preparing the report of this project and we work on the follow-up. The rest of the information will be published in the website of the foundation. (online mid-July 2016)

This project is an initiative of a goood foundation executed by architects and sustainable specialists Caro Isern and Paul de Graaf, organisational consultant Remco Meijer and an enthusiastic assistant team from the foundation, among others, designer Carolina Giraldo Nohra and editor Martin Vos.

This project is realized with support from The Creative Industries Fund NL.

Read also the report of the Exploration here.

Visit and like the Facebook page of a goood foundation for updates and collaboration opportunities:

https://www.facebook.com/agooodfoundation/

In the framework of Patch Club strategy, about sustainable fashion, we developed and executed talent development trainings for two group of women In Amsterdam New-West.

The focus is to stimulate the group of women towards starting ‘their own fashion dream’.

The training combines:

– Awareness: why is sustainable fashion so important ?

– Insights on principles of sustainable fashion & examples

– Own dream and talents

– How to start our own dream company

The two group of women (of 10 participants each) took the time to draw their dreams. Afterwards, with a personalised scan, we could identify their needs (in the different fields of the process: design, production, organisation, communication), to further work on their dreams.

Welcome Patch Club was supported by Amsterdam Nieuw-West, Nisa 4 Nisa organisation, Cultuurhuis @Coop Westside and a goood foundation.

In May 2015 we established ‘a goood foundation’ with the aim of accelerate the transition toward sustainable communities. ‘a goood foundation’ starts projects, together with passionate and experienced people, where design, innovation and collaboration are the main components. In our projects, we mimic nature, looking for all kind of local benefits.

I’m very happy to be part of this adventure. To know more look at the foundation website (online mid-July 2016)

Fabloop is a design methodology to innovate together in a value chain. Fabloop accelerates the process of sustainable innovation by matching social responsible companies with designers with the passion of changing the world, acting as a design intermediate that creates win-win situations within the value chain. Through its pilots projects, it aims to be an inspiring source of information regarding environmental and social challenges to increase awareness and people participation.

At the moment we are working with a multidisciplinary team in the preparation of the first pilots: in the product design chain and in the co-creation of urban spaces. More information will follow. Do you want to know more about our plans, our team and partners and want to collaborate in these challenges? Contact us.

I develop creative insight sessions according to the client’s specific request. In the last years I led many creative sessions with a variety of themes and topics according to client’s need. Some tools we created and implemented successfully are:

Design 2 change!

The 5P’s method (People, Planet, Profit, Pleasure and Practicality)

For more information click on the names of the tools and contact me to learn even more.

From 2007 till 2012 I co-created and managed a creative foundation called Desycle with the objective of working together with different stakeholders and create projects that stimulate awareness in the consumption-production-waste cycle. Thanks to many funds and commissions we were able to develop and execute tens of projects per year, including events where hundreds of people attended. We trained more than 100 people per year (kids, design students, trainers working in social centres, citizens and even homeless people) through different activities and workshops and we created 70 lines of products to inspire people. Some products could be seen here.

Some organisations that made this innovative process possible were: VSB fonds, Stichting Doen, SNS Real, and many other organisations of different sort, from Municipalities, schools & neighbours organisations to Waste processing companies.

” Desycling projects connect people, business and public institutions. Their social and environmental issues are addressed and they are motivated to take action by creating awareness in an inspiring, practical and pleasant way. Desycling stimulates creativity and encourages people to look differently at waste and participation.

The basis of desycle lies in translating big theories about environmental and social subjects in a practical way into our daily lives. It provides answers to the question on how to apply this knowledge into your own lifestyle.
Desycle stimulates discussion and offers charm and innovation, thus becoming a guide for practical changes related to the waste material circuit around you. LSDP has established the Desycle Foundation to continue the innovative development of this concept and to spread its practice…”

From 2007 till 2012 I co-founded a creative studio called Latin Sisters Design Productions (LSDP) together with designer Gabriela Bustamante.

We worked together with many other professionals, designers and students on innovative commissions for companies, government and social organisations, applying a holistic design approach to find solutions to social and environmental challenges.

We created social design commissions like the set up of production facilities (social firms) for social organisations and developing educational programs for kids in neighbourhoods regarding social and environmental issues. Next to this we created and applied successfully tools and creative sessions formats for mind-mapping collaborative projects between different stakeholders.

LSDP was a pioneer social design studio that researched social and environmental issues and proposed projects to find solutions closer using collaboration, design thinking and design action as main tools. For more information look at LSDP website.

During my work as director of LSDP, I developed together with designer Gabriela Bustamante a design methodology to ensure a good foundation for the start of projects/enterprises with sustainable ambitions by a groep of stakeholders.

The added value of this tool/method is, on one hand, to take stakeholders to identify their collective ambition in the collaboration, learning to start a project holistically (identifying priorities at different areas). And to define their own role and expectation in the coalition. On the other hand the goal is to get to know each other deeply by making a creative and a fun atmosphere where we reach co-creation and commitment of the stakeholders.

The 5P’s represent: People, Planet, Profit, Pleasure and Practicality. In this form we create a collective mind-map where we discover the important priorities of the different actors regarding essentials topics for the development of the collective dream. During 4 hours we go from abstract thoughts to concrete actions to let them participants experience the power of ‘discovering together’.

The method itself is valuable but more important is the way (how) it is executed. Important aspects are brought from our latin background, like the attention of the session leader for the dynamic of the group, the way we inspire the participants (through design thinking) to create together, the unorthodox process where spontaneity (surprises) during the sessions warranty the creativity commitment and good results of the groep.

See here a good example of this methodology in the practice. A creative session we organised for IJburg Marktmeester in 2010.

If you want to know more of this method, or if you even want to experience the benefit of the 5P’s creative session in the practice, please contact me.

As part of LSDP I developed and successfully proved an instrument to stimulate ‘change’ within organisations. This creative session format have proven to accelerate business development and resolve long existing hick ups in teams and companies development.

In a half day session, through a series of design activities we reflect on our daily work roles in a playful way, which leads the participants to learn how to use their passion and creative skills at work, making them more effective in their role and in their team work.

To see an example of a commission using this method click here.

This work is an example of interior renovations I designed and carried out between 2008 and 2013 together with colleague architect Gimena Repetto. This project dated form 2010.

The 124 m2 apartment in the city of Amsterdam is part of a building complex from the Amsterdam School style situated in South Amsterdam.

We converted 100 m2 into a penthouse of 124 m2 (distributed within 3 floors), with a terrace facing the South-West. The first floor contains the bedrooms and the bathrooms. The old common storage place of the building was turned into a spacious living space for the family with the opportunity to enjoy outside (the terrace) every time the Dutch weather allows it.

In addition to a spacious distribution we accentuated the design by the use of natural materials and craft details. We (re)used azobe wood (that use to be the floor of an old cargo ship) to shape the furniture in the bathrooms and kitchen and to build the stair that goes to the created attic. The material we (re)used for the ceilings is the old wood that stood in the apartment hanging the old stucco ceiling. This wood is very nice old pine wood, but it is considered waste and every body throw it away because it is full of spikes and it is very raw. We cleaned it up (taking spikes out, and sand it, converting it in a very precious material). This creates a very special and warm atmosphere in the house.

Other details and furniture are made as well with former wood pieces of the building and from neighbours (wood) waste materials.

The stair was designed as a very important and surprising element of the apartment, because of its situation in the core of the house. We use partly glass to let pass light and sun to the floor downstairs.

The main challenge of this interior was to persuade the workers to work with what they called ‘waste’. These workers were used to build with standard materials and technics that they could find in the ‘bouw depot’. It took us time and try outs to let them see that it was possible.

However the neighbours did understand the idea of the project and collaborate with the recollection of old wood for the renovation of this apartment.

At the end the result was extraordinary!

More photos of this project will come..

If you are interested to see other examples of interiors I produced in collaboration with Gimena Repetto during these years, please contact me.

For HVC, a waste processing company based in Alkmaar, we developed a concept of a contest for design students. The company wanted to engage young people to create new products gaining (waste) materials creating at the same time inspiration in the waste cycle.

After many brainstorm sessions with the different stakeholders in the production chain and specially with students and young designers willing to have their product ideas in the market, our proposition was a contest designed holistically.

The innovation of this concept is the ‘chain approach’. The young designers are invited to design a product for the partners of a production chain. They have to consider the social, environmental and economic values that they could generate with the product in each link of the chain (see the drawing above) from raw material to consumer’s litter, from cradle to cradle.

Another innovation achievement of this concept is that we focus de whole cycle on people behaviour.  As designers we know how to design from a material cycle perspective (life cycle designed and inspired by nature). This proposal goes further, beside the c2c aspects (this is something we already apply) we focus in the way it is manufactured, distributed, sold, used and thrown away by people. We believe it is the people in the chain what can make possible the cradle to cradle concept in the practice. And this is still one of our main challenges as designers in the future.

In the practice the students win the support in the execution of their design products, together with the chain partners.

This project is the forerunner of the Fabloop methodology.

My role in this project was concept/strategy developer and writer of the concept plan.

Are you curious by this concept? Do you work as well within a sustainable chain approach? Or do you want to know more about successfully chain approaches? Please contact me.

A group of 5 inspiring socially responsible enterprises were invited to share a location for their enterprises in IJburg, Amsterdam.

We were hired by the Marktmeester IJburg, Ymere (housing corporation in Amsterdam) and Radar Advies, to lead the first phase of this project. We did this by dig in deeply into the wishes, needs and priorities of the different parties who were part of this project. We visited IJburg and interviewed people around the neighbourhood. We executed a creative session (based on the 5P’s method=link) to define the vision of the project with all the stakeholders. We wrote a report (link) where the success factors of this project are worked out in detail; we also gave advice about sustainable ways to approach this project to make it a success. This research is a solid basis of information that was used for the further development of the project.

I led this project as part of LSDP. My role was strategy development and leading. I worked with an extraordinary team of creatives, and closely together with the project leader of Radar Advies (Roel Piera) and Ymere (Jacqueline Sarton), in charge of the whole development.

For more information see:

Report of the project (in Dutch)

Format we used of the creative session: The 5 P’s method

IJburg works with the 5P’s (People, Planet, Profit, Pleasure and Practicality)

As part of a co-creation development assignment, we organised a creative session where Ymere (housing corporation), the IJburg Marktmeester, Radar Advies (agency on social issues) and a group of 5 inspiring entrepreneurs exchanged their concerns, ideas and proposals about the start-up of a collective sustainable business in IJburg.
Leading the session through the 5P’s method opened up all possible directions this project could take. It also allowed everyone to bring in their expertise to find what role they can take in every phase of this project. This unorthodox session lasted 4 hours of intense brain workout, but was worth the smiles and laughter’s of every participant.

The added value of the 5P’s tool is, on one hand, to take stakeholders to identify their collective ambition, learning to think holistically (from different areas). And to define their own role in the coalition. On the other hand the goal is to get to know deeply each other. By making a creative and fun atmosphere we reach co-creation and commitment of the stakeholders.

A comprehensive 5P’s report was the result of the research and activities organised. Click in the photo above to see more images. And look at the video where the stakeholders present their enterprises as part of an exercises during the session the ‘jingle and mingle’ challenge!

I worked together for the set up of this 5P’s creative session with designer Gabriela Bustamante, and young designers Beatriz Fernandez Garcia and Belinda de Groot.

If you want to know more about the method, or if you even want to experience the benefit of the 5P’s creative session in the practice, please contact me.

During my work at LSDP (from 2007-2012) I had the chance to develop and execute tens of projects per year related to social (and labor market) reintegration. We advised many social organisations and inspired them to think and act differently to achieve more cohesion and productiveness in their jobs. We set up production facilities where people designed sustainable products, in collaboration with local partners, in longer course projects. And we inspire many others social organisations by organising one or two times creative sessions on how to achieve more (production, collaboration) with the medium they already had.

Some good example of a long course project was the set up of the so called Desycling production facility for De Regenboog Groep.

We worked together with De Regenboog Groep from 2008 to 2011 on a pilot project where social and environmental issues were approached in an integrated way.

Because of the stigmatisation about homeless people within the city De Regenboog Groep asked us to develop a project that would give a fresh twist to stimulate the target group as well as positively influence the perception of the neighbours about the homeless shelter in their local area.

The result of this project is a design-production facility that operates 5 days per week where a group of homeless people from the city produce desycled products. The production is carried out in collaboration with local shops and organisations from the neighbourhood that provided their clean waste material, sell and promote their desycled products. These include paper notebooks desycled from flour sacks provided by the local bakeries and a line of jewellery desycled from coffee bean bags from the local coffee corners.

In the pictures you can see some of the Desycle Products that were designed and are produced in this facility.

This project delivered a closer and more comprehensive interaction between the shelter and the local neighbourhood. Knowledge was transferred (over sustainable design) from designers to workshop leaders and producers but also to the shops that delivered materials. They produced together 4 lines of design products during 3 years that were sold in local shops.

This project meant an important practice of engaging the local community (shops, social organisations, schools, municipality, neighbours, designers) to work together achieving social, environmental and economic outcome.

The project was financially possible made by de Regenboog Groep and the funding of Stichting Start Foundation, Instituut GAK and CIEEM.

My role in this project was strategy developer, general direction, stakeholders engagement. I worked together with a fantastic multidisciplinary group of high talented people, a.o. designer and business partner Gabriela Bustamante and young designers Belinda de Groot and Beatriz Fernandez Garcia that worked very hard making manuals and training the trainers. To know more about the team, the partners and the results check:

The report of the first part of the project (in Dutch)

Keynote Presentation for BNO talks

The report in LSDP website (including some production manuals)

The blog of the project (in Dutch)

Sustainable architecture by children for children in Amsterdam

On request of social housing corporation Eigen Haard to celebrate their 50st anniversary we designed, organised and executed architectural design events for children called Mijn speelhuis (My Playhouse). The goal of the project was to involve children in the sustainable design of a playground in their Municipality.

We designed and organised workshops for kids that where led by professional architects. We created an architectural structure mini museum, where we showed them how they could (re)use (waste) materials to create different structures for their Playhouse. This contributed to influence positively their perception about waste (understanding it as useful material) and gave them the opportunity to co-create their environment.

Mijn Speelhuis (My play-house) was simultaneously happening in three districts of Amsterdam West: Osdorp, Bos & Lommer and Slotervaart. The co-created ’Playhouse’ scale models were exhibited in each municipality. Finally ninety children designed together with architects their ideal Playhouse!

My role in this project was strategy developer, general direction and participating architect. We worked together with a fantastic group of passionate architects which transmitted their passion to the kids. This resulted in out of the box ideas and constructions invented by the participants.

The following link shows the weblog which was kept during the project (in Dutch): Mijnspeelhuis Weblog

This project shows the power of stakeholders working together! We had the opportunity to develop this exceptional project in 2008 thanks to the support of many volunteers, funds, private companies and public organisations.

The project goal was to involve residents in their local environmental and social issues within their neighbourhood and to inspire them to take action. In addition, we invited a group of local residents to be trained as Desycle coaches who were in charge of consolidating the results together with a groep of professional designers.

For four months, a group of 70 enthusiastic residents of Amsterdam Nieuw-West together with a group of designers transformed their own household trash into beautiful design objects. They transformed empty cardboard boxes, plastic bags, old clothes, furniture, magazines and empty plastic bottles into trendy handbags, jewellery, raincoats, trendy wardrobes and more.

All this happened in the temporary Desycle Center in the municipality of Geuzenveld-Slotermeer. Residents, shopkeepers and organisations in the neighbourhood were involved in the project, shared their network and provided materials. We were able to engaged many participants resulting in a powerful group that worked towards improvements of the neighbourhood.

There were ten active residents trained as “Desycling Coaches”. They learned design thinking and production skills, the ins and outs of organising the Desycle workshops including skills to inspire people to actively participate in the development of the community. They worked together with the municipality, welfare parties and local businesses. After the training many of them continued teaching lessons in local neighbourhood organisations.

At the end of the project we designed and organised an exhibition in a trendy location in the city (Westergasfabriek) to show to other citizens of Amsterdam the value of the local project in Nieuwe-West, where many different citizens from different backgrounds (nationalities, generations and education background) worked together to achieve a shared goal. To know more about the exhibition project click here.

This project was financially supported by VSB Fonds, SNS Reaal, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst (AFK), Rabobank, Stichting Doen, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Van Gansewinkel and different sectors of the Municipality.

My role in this project was initiator and general direction, including: co-concept/program design, finding the right team and partners to work in the project and the funding to make it possible.

I worked together with a talented group of people, to know more about the team and stakeholders involved check this link.

If you want to know more:

  • Report of the Desycling Project here (in Dutch).
  • Short Report of Desycling Amsterdam, used for the promotion of the continuation activities, here.
  • The blog that was kept during the project here (in Dutch), check post from April-July 2008.

After the big success of the exhibition in the former and abandoned tram remise station in Oud-West, we were invited to design and organised another exhibition as part of the project Desycling Amsterdam in 2008 in Westergasfabriek. The main idea was to show the results of the projects to a broader public, other citizens of Amsterdam and to open the dialogue by gathering different important actors of the production and waste cycle to reflect on how to work together in order to achieve social and environmental wins for the community.

The event was a huge success. In four days there were over 1500 visitors, including many group of children’s from different schools of the city.

Visitors were fascinated with the design of the exhibition. We displayed thousands of (borrowed) plastic bottles that hung in four cylinder shapes from the 10 meter high ceiling. Each cylinder was a pavilion. Each pavilion was destined for a different activity: a workshop to make chairs from cardboard, another, where various products were on display and several others with different topics. A much visited pavilion was the hospitality pavilion which was decorated as a Moroccan restaurant.

The visitors to the exhibition participated in a discussion panel about waste and participation. We invited different important actors from the waste cycle to discuss the importance of working together to achieve awareness and participation in the whole cycle.
Representatives of all major sponsors and partners were present: the municipality, waste management companies, funds, neighbours, desycle coaches and designers. The discussion was led by Joeri van den Steenhoven, the president of Kennisland Foundation at that moment. This event was organised in association with MWH Global and Kennisland Foundation.

One of the important outcomes of the discussion was the joint support and interest in finding more activities to work together and include design actions to achieve positive participation. The exhibition received broad attention in the printed and audiovisual media, like Het Parool, other journals and BNR news.

After this exhibition we could conceived many other local activities in Amsterdam and other cities that meant an important step towards finding solutions working together within different sectors. We could inspire as well many other designers with our approach and help them to start projects.

My role in this project was general direction, concept developer, co-design of the exhibition, stakeholders engagement and fund raising. I worked together with a fantastic multidiscipline group of high talented people. To know more read the report of the Descyling Amsterdam project.

We customised Design 2 change creative session for 2switch, an Arnhem based Dutch company specialised in the development and re-integration of disabled people into society.

The main question was to inspire the 2switch team (project managers) and wake up proactivity and creativity in the team. We focused the day session on this question:

– How can we learn to see difficult situations (problems) differently and positively and by doing this come up with ‘out of the box’ solutions.

Through a series of fun and creative activities where the participants change their role to the one of  ‘top designers’ and combine their passion with solving problem assignments, we activate change and wake up the creativity and the passion of the participants. They find their own value and motivation in the team what boosts working together and generate value together.

This project example illustrate very well the power of Design 2 change tool in the practice and let see that if you give people the space to explore their talents, to create and most important to believe in yourself, the results are amazing.
The success of this project was accelerated by the inspiring participant’s willingness to adjust their talents into our present and challenging world needs.
This ‘change’-concept contains the values of our vision: Changing an organisation starts by changing its people, each and every member of the team. I believe we have to focus on those people, since they make the profit, the planet and of course the pleasure!

To know more about this tool and see another examples where we successfully applied Design 2 change method, contact me.

During 2005 till end of 2011, I co-designed a series of products that were part of the Desycling strategy. The Desycling Products were frame to inspire and be produced by people within a specific criteria. During these years we were able to conceived more than 70 lines of products within different projects and commissions.

The products were designed (re)using clean waste material, mostly coming from packaging.

The idea behind the products was to stimulate people awareness through inspiration, inviting them to take action by co-producing the products.

Another import aspect was to recycle old techniques from the popular knowhow.

The products were created and produced in different circumstances, some by groep of neighbours together with designers, some others, like the desycle chairs, by co-production with local shops. Other products were designed and made in collaboration with social organisations and some with invited designers. From each product and line of products we made a graphic manual explaining step by step how to make it.

The criteria we use to develop them:

– Reusing waste materials keeping the material capacity:

The product should be possible to repair, desycle, reuse, re-manufacture or up-cycled again.

– Communicate the local identity and cultural diversity through the products.

– Products show new aesthetic/use values.

– Low energy production process (low-tech & effective performance).

– Simple production techniques, accessible tools.

– Improve living conditions (through service, production process or product itself)

Though we don’t agree with the production of some packaging materials like plastics bottles (PET) and plastics bags (LDPE) we did design products reusing these materials, consciously. We considered that these materials were very accessible and had a big impact in the awareness of people. We proposed to keep their qualities as materials, not mixing them with other materials. We used the properties of the same material to glue them (with warm) for instance in the case of the Tetra Pak cardboard or the low density polyethylene bags. In that way we extended the life of these materials without changing their properties, transforming them in useful and inspiring (awareness rising) products.

My role in the design of the products was co-designer and criteria development.

Photos of products: Netta Tauber

Are you intrigued by this concept? Do you want to know more about the importance of inspiration and awareness in the process towards a circular economy? Contact me.

By commission of the municipality of Amsterdam Oud-West, we conceived and executed the project “From Recycling to Redesign” in 2005-2006.

The goal of the project was to inspire people to look differently at ‘trash’, to reflect about the waste issues in their neighbourhood and stimulate them to take action, working at the same time on the social cohesion of the neighbourhood.
During the project we researched together with designers, neighbours and kids from local schools the local garbage to later design and make products with it in local workshops. Thanks to these activities the perception of participants about trash changed considerably, from ‘problem’ to ‘opportunity’.

As a result of this project, we organised an exhibition in cooperation with local residents and organisations. The exhibition took place in the former tram station De Hallen in Oud West during an international design event in Amsterdam. Through this exhibition, the project generated awareness beyond the local borders. This project was the forerunner of Desycling Amsterdam 2008.

My role in the project was initiator, project management and co-program designer. I also designed the exhibition space together with Gabriela Bustamante and Roberto Uribe Castro. Designers Onno Sminia and Jiska van Veen worked hard assisting during the whole project. Next to this, this project was a success thanks to all volunteers (neighbours, local shops, schools and workers from the municipality) and sponsors (Tetra Pak, NH Hotels, Cafe de Origen, Amsterdam DJ School) that participated to make it possible.

If you want to go deeper into details of the project take a look at the Project Report. You can watch the video of the project: here.

Link to the interaction Exhibition Project we organised after the success of this project.

In the former tram station De Hallen in Oud West we designed and conceived an exhibition to show the results of the project Van Recycling tot Redesign that took place in Amsterdam Oud-West for one year. The exhibition was part of an international design event in Amsterdam for a week in September 2006. Through this exhibition the project Van Recycling tot Redesign generated awareness beyond the local borders. We designed a holistic exhibition together with the local neighbours and participants of the project. We wanted to keep the atmosphere of the place and reinforce it with objects and very urban elements like the graffitis indicating the different areas and activities during the exhibition.

This is a good example of designing a space and the content program together (holistically) to reach the goals of the project effectively. Read more about the exhibition approach here (Report of the exhibition).

The most innovative aspect of this exhibition was the way we created it together with many volunteers, neighbours and local organisations. They participated in the content idea of activities, promoting it and in the assembly and disassembly of it. This was part of the whole idea of the project: participation!

My role in the team was to take care the goals of the project were shown in the exhibition in the way we conceived it and in the atmosphere, activities and results shown. I co-designed the exhibition and I was project manager and responsible to make it happen working with a great team of professionals and volunteers.

The public was diverse, besides the local neighbours we had many other citizens from other parts of the city and the country, even international public and students that participated in projects we organised years after.

Some quotes of people that visit the event were:

“Well done! Great location. Already one of your fans. Loved the workshops. Keep up with the good work and your great ideas”

Patricia Salle (visitor and former workshop participant, form the Borgerbuurt)

‘’What a great and absolutely inspiring exhibition”

Trudy Drenth (visitor)

“What a nice atmosphere here..It looks like Berlin trendy places..!!”

Carmen & Emile (visitors inside design)

More Information:

Report of the exhibition

In the period 2006 – 2008 I worked on the initiative Resample. The project was a co-creation of architect Iris de Kievith and myself whereby we established an international cooperation between Dutch and Argentinean recycling specialists: architects, designers, social workers, scientists, NGO’s, private companies and government. Resample proposed the combination of experiences and possibilities of both countries to get solutions closer in the field of housing improvement, reusing waste material and energy saving.

Through a series of exchange activities working together with specialist form both countries, we researched and came up with solutions to be applied in Argentina to improve the housing conditions of some specific neighbourhoods.

In 2006, for example, Resample organised an international conference week in Buenos Aires, the workshop Reciclan that included lectures, (theoretical and practice) workshops, exhibitions, round tables and visits to local projects.

Over 150 persons subscribed and participated, among them representatives of multinationals, waste material companies, NGO’s, politicians, diplomats, architects, designers, journalists, scientists (from Universities), social workers (from local cooperatives) and students.

The conference week was a success according to all participants. Important results were:

– Establishment of an international (still in operation) network.

– In depth knowledge of added value of international cooperation.

– In depth knowledge of the local waste material cycles and main (housing) needs of the population.

– Development of several application of local waste materials (as building material) based on the local needs.

– Several articles in Dutch and especially Argentinean press contributing to awareness raising.

The project Resample ended in 2008 but the network continues. In May 2014 I established in cooperation with Pakhuis de Zwijger the Buenos Aires City Embassy which extends and revitalises this valuable international network, for future collaborations.

As a Dutch-Argentinean architect I initiated the project and found in Iris de Kievith a passionate co-creator to make the project a huge success. My role was the overall program management and the establishment of the Argentinean-Dutch network. Together with Iris de Kievith and Jan Jongert of Recyclicity foundation (Superuse studios) we designed the Dutch input for the conference week. The team was complemented in Argentina with Carlos Levinton from the CEP laboratory (experimental building systems) of the University of Buenos Aires, and with many assistants like Paula Callau (architecture student) that worked hard to make a success of this exchange project.

The international network partners were among others Recyclicity foundation (Rotterdam), Arcagrup (Buenos Aires), the University of Buenos Aires (lab CEP), Cooperativa El Ceibo and Greenpeace Buenos Aires. Resample was supported by ‘Stimuleringsfonds voor Architectuur’, Hivos Foundation, the University of Buenos Aires and the Royal Dutch Embassy in Buenos Aires.

More information:

Resample Projectplan (in Dutch)

– Report of the project (in Dutch)

Resample inspiring publication and exhibition we prepared for the exchange program about reuse of materials for building purposes.

Since very young I had a fascination for craft design. I did many art collages as kid for my friends and family. During my architecture studies in the early 90’s I loved to make all these great building models using cardboard and all kind of materials we could find. I realised later on that I had developed many skills (like patience, discipline) by working with my hands on that models.

With the boom of the computers (from 1995) I dug in the drawing computer softwares, becoming an expert in using them, and like many other workmates, I started to dream in autocad (drawing software) commands. Of course it was fascinating the way we could get things done, in one time having the drawings prepared to be printed in different scales. It was amazing!

When I moved to the Netherlands in 2002 I had time to reflect about my way of working and coming from this period of having worked so much with computers I needed to recover the balance  of working with my hands, with softwares, with other people (and not only architects) and even to find a body-mind balance in my life! In that time I re-started my craft activities and I re-starter to dance (Tango) and to practice more yoga. The results were amazing, because I also questioned my whole lifestyle and I committed myself to work for my dream in life.

What has all this to do with craft design? Within this context I created ‘the Maga lamp’

The Maga lamp is part of a series of objects I designed in 2002. It was an experiment based on designing and making these objects at home, with materials and tools I had at hand reach. The Maga lamp is made out of reuse magazine paper and cardboard. By using one kind of material (paper) and organic glue, the product was able to be disposal in the compost bin (following cradle to cradle principles).

I wanted to couple in this object the gains for the environment by reusing materials and not buying a ‘made in china’ lamp, and the therapeutic benefits of working (doing a design) with your hands.

I was of course confronted by many with the word ‘time’. The first thing people said was: I don’t have time to do something with my hands. For that reason I made a comparison between the time and money used by making the Maga lamp or going to buy one lamp at Ikea for instance. The results were surprising. It was a funny ingredient we used later in presentations (See the comparison in the images above).

This journey through the benefits of craft design, the consideration for the environment (reusing materials), the crisis in my role as professional, coupled to the culture differences I experienced when I came to the Netherlands (the lack of diversity in the social contacts, much individualism), were the main elements for the development of the strategy van Recycling tot Redesign (and later  Desycling). Through this strategy we proposed and achieved social cohesion in neighbourhoods by creating craft designs together with citizens, transferring design knowledge, involving other social local actors (like schools, social workers) to create awareness in an unaware way.

I had the pleasure later on to co-design many other craft products conceived to be made by participants (in a DIY way), together with my partner Gabriela and many other great designers, we were able to conceived more than 70 products lines within different project of the Desycling strategy.

Check as well: Desycling products.

The publicity and communication company OER had moved to a loft in one of the old deposit areas, Veemkade, in Amsterdam. They requested an integrated office design which would keep the characteristics of the building itself.

The main idea for the office design was to do the less as possible, keeping the idea of ‘a big space’ building only two modules, one for the kitchen and another called The Box by the client with the purpose to be used as relax- and telephone room, IT-room, storage and wardrobe.

The kitchen was designed as a furniture itself and The Box was designed as a little house (shelter) into the big place that had to allocate all the functions it needed.

I designed and managed the project. In the design process I collaborated with the architect Roberto Uribe Castro.

This is a good example of interior project between many other interiors I realised during my career. If you want to see other interior projects I managed and co-created, please contact me.

During my research activities in de mid 90’s I had a special interest for the design and philosophy of Michael Reynolds.

In 1997 I had the honour to meet him and his team in New Mexico, during a study trip of the pueblo’s culture around New Mexico and Colorado (USA).

In 2004 I did in depth research about Earthship construction system with the objective of sharing the information through Recyclicity Foundation from Rotterdam. The same year we organised a trip with many architects from The Netherlands with Stichting Owaze, where we could visit the construction of the Earthship in Brighton.

In short we can say that the Earthship features are characterised by:

  • using solar or wind energy
  • passive solar heating
  • thermal mass design,
  • solar and wind electric power,
  • integrated water reuse systems,
  • natural and recycled materials,
  • low cost,
  • no utility bills.

Beside the ecological aspects, what makes innovative the Earthship concept in my opinion are three very strong points, that make it captivating at a social dimension:

1- The use of low-tech systems (easy, accessible technology)

There is something very strong behind the fact that you CAN build entire your own house.

2- Collective building (people become more aware of the individual lifestyle)

New form of conceiving the construction process, breaking with the traditional construction companies system. The construction of a house becomes a very important gathering (social) moment.

3- Manual approach (DIY) expanding knowledge:

Reynolds proposed in the early 70’s a new role of the architect professional. By making manuals and selling books with the instructions for building your own Earthship, he proposed a new role of the architect, the one of facilitator. He introduced the notion of expanding the knowledge and giving tools to people, DIY. This was already happening in many other sectors but not in the architecture field.

To know more about Earthships:

In USA: www.earthship.org

In The Netherlands: www.owaze.nl

This was a research engagement from the Recyclicity Foundation and I executed it in collaboration with technical engineer Joost Suasso in 2004.

A family who bought a piece of land in a gated community near Buenos Aires, Argentina asked me to design and realise a family house based on their desires. Bio-climatic concepts and the relation between the house to the exterior environment were important aspects to consider.

The design process started end of 1999 by gather in several design sessions the requirements for the design. The design sessions were about their lifestyle dreams (use of the house including family and friends), the standards of comfort and their wishes regarding ecological aspects inside and outside the house. Finally this led to a country house of 280m2 in which the materials and the aesthetic used are linked to the constructive tradition of the province of Buenos Aires. The house was delivered in august 2001.

I did the design and supervision of the realisation and worked together with the consultant engineer Ing. Horacio Migone. Realisation of the house was done by Ferrantelli Construcciones.

In this work I applied my knowledge and experience about materials related to bio-climatic concepts as well as my integrated design approach in which the future residents had an important role sharing their dreams for the future with me. I developed the ability to do the whole end-to-end process of designing, building and delivering a house which has a very low use of energy because of the applied passive architecture concepts.

My interest in mobile architecture took me to have an intense experience on this field. After deep studies and projects on this subject (specially studying Prouvé work) I had the possibility to work from early 1998 till end 2002 as project manager for a company specialized on mobile architecture in Argentina, Arcat S.A.

Arcat builds portable, demountable, and relocatable structures (modules) and prefab systems for different uses: housing, offices, accommodation, schools, sanitary modules, shelters for telephonic companies and other specific use, combining standard technology with client’s special requirement. This work permitted me to get me deeper in mobility subject and to incorporate to my ‘artistic view’ the practical-technical vision that Arcat work required, getting wide experience on structures, material behaviour, work systematisation, and other topics related with mobility.

Next to this, within this work experience I develop myself as a very effective project & program construction manager. Learning how to manage complex projects under strict quality norms and requirements, working within an interdisciplinary team and closely together with clients from idea to delivery and follow-up assistance.

The project shown in the photo is a cottage house that consists of a combination of a transportable sanitary module with prefab systems modules finished on site with local materials. Project made in collaboration with Estudio Faivre–Roman and Daniel Low. Buenos Aires 2000.

During that period we worked for several international companies.

For more information and details about architecture mobile projects in relation with sustainable development contact me.

From January 1997 till March 1998 I worked for Hampton-Rivoira architecture office in Buenos Aires as an architect designer. I had the pleasure to have worked on several building projects and competitions, like bank/office buildings and some park & leisure development areas as well. We focused on eco-effective use of materials & installations and building relationship with the environment and users.
I learned much from Jorge Hampton’s sustainable approach in architecture and the way he involves clients in the project and teaches the staff.

If you want more information about the projects from these period, please contact me.

Started as an unsolicited architecture project with a group of fellow architects and designers for a no-man’s land between Buenos Aires and the city of La Plata in the province of Buenos Aires in 1994.

The urban design proposal gets use to the topography of the place (-4m below sea level), conforming a public walk (big island promenade) between two principal arteries that connect Buenos Aires to La Plata city. The connections are for pedestrian and vehicles. In this platform there are also bars, restaurants and cultural activities. The level below zero is considered for parking and equipment installations.

The shopping design was based on a study that compare the old way of shopping in Buenos Aires (in ‘’Calle Florida’’) with the different scales that are involved, and the new way of ‘’box’’ shopping mall (Carrefour near this area).

The landscape emphasises the idea of the urban island while the recurrently stairs and ramps get you into the green area.

My role in the team was initiator, designer and material and bio-concepts specialist. I gained experience in this project with unsolicited architecture and connecting specialists of different backgrounds and aim to reach a mutual goal. In this case, gain an abandoned area for the neighbourhood, building a shopping mall where social interaction was the main focus.

During a postgraduate study ‘The use of the material: aluminium’ with Richard Horden and Mederico Faivre in DiTella University, Buenos Aires in 1998 we made studies for shelters for evacuation situations, based on research of floods in the Argentinean littoral (Delta) that brings almost each 3 years hundreds of thousands of evacuated people.

In collaboration with architect Diego Trolliet and the DiTella’s team we developed the ‘Delta Project’ instantaneous emergency shelter for catastrophe’s situations. This shelter is lightweight and easily transportable but is sturdy enough to last for many years, and if no longer needed can be taken to other emergency areas. The shelters are very simple to make or assemble and can be rebuilt and delivered and set up in a short time which is crucial in emergency situations.

The temporally shelters can be set up by groups of neighbours or by volunteers as no special skills are needed. The shelter is usable in a large set of locations as the telescopic legs make it adaptable for uneven terrain, snow or water. As the shelter is lifted in the ground it will be dry. Heating and sanitary can be added. The space below the floor of the shelter will serve as a space for the owners to store the materials they will use in rebuilding their homes.

The project was selected by the first edition of Architecture for Humanity in 1998.

My role and added value in the team was researching and designing. I gained experience in this project on mobile architecture building with specific material properties.

More about this project can be read in Richard Horden. Architecture and Teaching. Lehrstuhl für Entwerfen, N. Baldassini, R. Horden. Birkhäuser Verlag; 2000. ISBN no. 3-7643-6152-2

During my period as a researcher at the Center of Material’s Innovation in the Habitat’s Studies Institute (IDEHAB) unit in La Plata (Argentina, 1995 – 1997) I investigated possible solutions for the severe sanitation problems in the Argentineans poor housing sectors and slums.

Our vision was to developed a prefabricated sanitary unit that will consider the broader sanitary problem (whole cycle: manure’s treatment, reuse of gray water & drinking water provision)

This resulted in the design of a new design process with a sanitary core as a starting point for the construction of a house, considering mechanisms that focus on gaining water and energy. The research also considered studies and designs of prefab-systems for housing and their future growing possibilities The layouts possibilities that this module offers make it adaptable to several geometries and houses structures.

In the research special attention was given to works of Prouve in France and Fermin Estrella in Argentina.

The research was executed in collaboration with Alejandro Jarolaski, leaded by Carlos Barbachan and Uriel Jauregui, from IDEHAB. My added value was the integration of several complex problems regarding living (culture) conditions into the design, interviewing many users/stakeholders and drawing and prototyping.

During the research we could make some try outs and test prototypes. This research was too advance in terms of sustainability for that period (1997), for that reason we could not get the finance to apply the model extensively in the needy areas.

Epeira Diadema was the title of our first price winning design in a contest participation for students in 1995. The design requirements were: Itinerant space (300m3) for conferences and exhibition activities that must be easy to transport, fast and easy to assemble, flexible in use and with mutable possibilities.

Epeira Diadema, the name given to the entry is by definition the scientific name of the ‘garden spider’.

National Competition for students with aim for a technological solution. La Plata, Argentina, October 1995. First prize. In collaboration with Alejandro Jarolaski.

Our entry contained many technical detail drawings that are not shown in this website.