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.