In our ‘SparkSpeak’ section we speak with artists, curators and creative entrepreneurs at large. We unravel what makes them tick, what ticks them off and what drives them to innovate.
Anno 2017 Dutch Design Week provided an overload of inspiration and new talents. The work of Graduate Mirjam de Bruijn appealed to us. We talked to this design talent and problem solver about Twenty, one of her graduation projects.
Who are you and what makes you tick?
I recently graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven with two projects, called Asana and Twenty. For both, I tried to design a solution to an urgent problem. Great solutions are often very poorly designed aesthetically. As a designer, I look for ways to make important solutions more visually attractive as well as user friendly.
All the different aspects involved in the design process make me tick: Talking to people and industries, playing with designs, shapes and materials and experimenting until everything comes together! The reason why I wanted to become a designer, is because there are so many different interesting fields to work in. I like this interdisciplinary way of working.
Tell us about you latest project...
What if we don’t add the water to products in the factories but add it ourselves at home. Imagine how much we can safe if we wouldn't transport water. 1 Airplane instead of 5, 80% less CO2 emissions and a lot of plastic packaging would become obsolete. Twenty was one of my graduation projects. It investigates how we can reduce the amount of water in our detergents, soaps, crèmes etc, which normally contain about 80% of water. Water which we all have at home. I designed a system where you buy capsules and a bottle once. At home, you put the capsule in the bottle, you add water, it all dissolves and your product is ready to use. The bottle can be reused endlessly. All we need to transport then are the capsules, which are hard and dry and hence can be packaged in recycled cardboard boxes.
What inspired you to create this now?
I created this now because I feel like there is an increasing demand for sustainable products, that are not too crazy. The zero packaging stores are far from what most people are used to. People are becoming aware of pollution but don't know how to do something against it. They don't believe that they can make an impact and they find many solutions too difficult. As a designer, one must take all these barriers into account. Using soap blocks for instance is very ecofriendly, but unattractive for many people. Consumers find good old soap blocks unhygienic and like the convenience of liquid soaps. That is why I kept the soaps and detergents as liquids. Another example are the capsules. The design has a positive effect on of climate change in the bigger picture AND for the individual consumer, dry capsules are also much lighter to carry than heavy liquid bottles home from the supermarket. Finally, I need to make the design/concept as attractive as possible in order to trigger users to make the extra effort of adding water themselves. The design of the capsule will play a key role in this.
What does your work mean for today's society?
I hope with Twenty I can offer a solution and contribute to solving a problem like the current climate change. Or at least to provide a step in adjusting our lifestyles. We have become accustomed to certain things, like liquid soap, but that doesn't mean this is how it will be forever. Especially nowadays, we need to rethink the products that we use in our daily lives.
Who do you aspire to collaborate with in the near future and why?
In terms of Twenty, I'm dreaming of a great team of energetic people who want to go for it. I'm just a designer and I definitely don't want to stay in my own dreamy world. I'd love to work together with scientists, anthroposophists, climate activists, marketers, startups, walking encyclopedia's, lawyers, enthusiastics and skeptics at large who can test the prototypes and give critical feedback.
Mirjam de Bruijn recently won the HEMA design daten award. This allows her to really start looking at ways to make Twenty happen. Good Luck Mirjam with turning your designs into reality!
We can’t wait to find your products in store!
Mirjam de Bruijn