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"The goal of our challenge was to try to make Tabakalera an even more sustainable place."

Lucas García-Rosado Correia, 3rd year student of the Industrial Design and New Product Development Engineering Degree, tells us about the creative challenges proposed by the Mazedonia design studio, located in Tabakalera.

12 | 12 | 2022

Seven teams formed by five students of the 3rd year of the Degree in Industrial Design Engineering and New Product Development participated in a creative challenge proposed by the design studio Mazedonia, located in Tabakalera. Mazedonialocated in Tabakalera. The student Lucas García-Rosado Correia tells what his project consisted of.

What was the challenge for Mazedonia in which you participated?

The challenge has focused on Mazedonia, a design studio that designs products and conducts workshops in the Medialab of Tabakalera to show the plastic recycling process by sharing the creative process with citizens. In my case I worked with Labe, a laboratory of innovation and digital transformation for the gastronomy of the future that includes among its facilities a restaurant serving local food, always trying to innovate in a sustainable way and create value for the gastronomy sector. The goal of our challenge was to try to make Tabakalera an even more sustainable place. We divided up the different entities that make up the Tabakalera ecosystem and looked for a way to reuse the waste they produced and design solutions with them that would be beneficial for Tabakalera at the same time. In the case of my group, we created different types of bioplastics based on the organic matter produced in Labe. And with them we proposed to create coasters and tablecloths that could be used in the restaurant itself and raise awareness among customers about the importance of the circular economy.

What have you learned from him?

In my team we mainly learned things related to bioplastics. This was an area we hadn't talked much about in class. Thanks to this project we have been able to learn how to create them. In addition, we have experimented with different organic wastes, developing prototypes with different types of bioplastics and production processes of these materials. From an orange one with vanilla essence, to one with potato peelings. Each group has been able to learn from their waste and different materials that can be manufactured from them and generate ideas about functional products that solve real needs and at the same time generate awareness about the circular economy in their future users.

What was involved in working as a team to make it happen?

By working as a team we have been able to develop a more complete project. By pooling our opinions and being critical of each other we have been able to come up with a very interesting result. The different points of view have been beneficial for the final delivery.

How was the presentation at Tabakalera?

The presentation at Tabakalera was a plus for the project. This is a place that gives you the feeling of familiarity. Anybody can go there, there are people talking, walking, children, etc. Even in parts of the presentation a couple of strangers sat down interested to see what we were talking about. It was nice to see that the Tabakalera team was interested in our project and even gave us their opinions about it.

The Mazedonia design studio

The design studio Mazedonia is founded by three graduates from Tecnun who, after traveling halfway around the world and acquiring very interesting professional experiences, returned to San Sebastian to create their own studio and, among many other activities, are collaborating with Tabakalera to energize citizen workshops in which they are part of the network Precious Plasticsto create open source machinery and products in the field of plastic recycling. They currently have a laboratory with these machines in the Tabakalera facilities. Media Lab Tabakalera.

Tabakalera Medialab

For her part, Arantza Mariskal Balerdi, head of the Tabakalera Medialab points out that the Medialab is a service open to the public in which "we promote and facilitate learning processes, knowledge creation, experimentation and project development. It is within this framework that we welcomed the students from Tecnun who, guided among others by the members of the Medialab's Precious Plastic open group, presented the projects with the aim of contributing improvements in various areas and frameworks of Tabakalera, from proposals for the creation of toys to experimentation with food waste through proposals for contributions to improve the quality of the experiences in the exhibition halls".

Mariskal emphasizes that "we were able to appreciate the quality of the results presented by the students, in which we observed a good level of technical knowledge, design and imagination in the development of proposals and solutions. Let's hope that this small collaboration between both institutions can continue so that we can think of possible cooperation proposals between Medialab and the University as another element in the training of our young people".

Each team of Tecnun has chosen a different entity of Tabakalera and have done field research with the tools they learn in the subject to identify the waste generated by each one and the needs they may have. Once these two aspects were clear, they developed a creative process with the ideation and idea selection tools they learned in the course to generate product concepts that use some of the identified waste as materials and that can solve some of the needs found. Being design engineers they also have to analyze the feasibility of manufacturing these products and they are also asked to make a scale prototype to show their concept.

The event in Tabakalera took place a few days ago and the final works of the students of Tecnun were presented. The objective of the event was to show all the entities that have collaborated in the project their results. "For the students the fact of presenting the results of their work in Tabakalera has been a great motivation because leaving the university and seeing that their projects generate real interest in entities of their city and can solve the needs of different groups makes them better understand the social impact of their future work," says the teacher of the subject, Mabel Rodriguez, who accompanied the students during the presentations at Tabakalera, and of course, throughout the ideation of the challenges and the realization of each of the works.

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