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9.45 Gathering with coffee

10.00 Ilona Gurjanova (EST) - Introduction
10.15 David Kusuma (USA) - Video greeting about circular economy
10.25 John Thackara (UK) - "Sustainability you can touch"
11.00 Kai Realo (EST) - "Towards a more sustainable consumption"
11.30 Eray Sertaç Ersayin (TUR) - "Circular journey: from the idea to the final product or system"

12.00 Lunch

13.00 Paula Nerlich (UK) - "Living Materiality: towards transitory living materials in circular systems"
13.30 Sergio Dávila Urrutia (MEX) - "A new generation of biodesigners"
14.00 Reet Aus (EST) - "Design of the Universe"
14.30 Kärt Ojavee (EST) - "Material affairs”

15.00 Panel (led by Päivi Tahkokallio)
16.00 End of Conference


Ilona Gurjanova 
is the founder of Tallinn Design Festival, president of Estonian Association of Designers, designer and a curator who will be giving the introduction to the conference.

David Kusuma is the President of the World Design Organization (WDO), and the Present Senior VP of Product Management & Innovation at Oregon Tool. His focus is to maximize product innovation by developing new technologies and materials to create game-changing solutions.

Key strategic research areas include new materials development, food science, cooking technologies, new storage, smart sensors, and clean water tech.

An author, curator and professor, John Thackara curated the celebrated Doors of Perception conference for 20 years - first in Amsterdam, later across India. He was commissioner of the UK social innovation biennial Dott 07, the French design biennial City Eco Lab, and the 2019 Urban-Rural expo in Shanghai. He is a visiting professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, Polimi in Milan, and SVA in New York, and is a Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art in London.

John's talk carries the title SUSTAINABILITY YOU CAN TOUCH: Sustainability Reporting. Net Zero. Climate Finance. ESG. Green New Deal. A lot is happening at a strategy and policy level - but how directly do these initiatives touch people in their daily working lives?

A big majority of today’s workers - in offices, and remote - want to participate in real-world activities that have a positive impact on their local environment and communities. And designers are well-placed to create these connections between thought and action.

The good news? Opportunities are all around us. John Thackara describes companies that, helped by design, green the streets around their offices; set up biocanteens with local farmers; plant micro-forests on disused land; ‘daylight‘ lost rivers; help their city become a national park; organise bioblitzes with local schools - and many more.

Kai Realo is a top manager with long-term experience who works as the chairman of the board of the environmental company Ragn-Sells. Prior to that, Kai worked for 16 years at Statoil/Circle K, the last 9 years as the company's general manager.

The career change from retail trade to environmental issues was prompted by the desire to promote the green revolution and contribute to more sustainable ways of working. Kai is also the chairman of the council of the Central Union of Estonian Employers and belongs to the council of ELRON. In 2018, Kai was elected the best manager in Estonia at the Äripäev management conference.

TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION: Kai Realo talks about the circular economy and consumer habits, i.e. how to satisfy people's need for individuality and personalization with the help of few resources and new technologies.

Eray Sertaç Ersayin, Board Member of WDO, President of Industrial Designers Society of Turkey, is an experienced design professional, who has been managing design initiatives globally, including various industries, NGOs, societies and national government projects. In the past 14 years he has organised several international design events such as Design Turkey and design evaluation systems for the Ministry of Trade, and Turkish Exports Assembly.

He has been deeply engaged in integrating designers with the government and industry. These collaborations bring awareness of SDGs through responsible approaches to production and consumption in various sectors. Ersayin believes that this power, which is critical to our planet, needs to be assessed.

Eray's talk CIRCULAR JOURNEY - FROM THE IDEA TO THE FINAL PRODUCT OR SYSTEM underlines that is important to talk about the value and impact that design brings to our work and daily life, and of the journey from the idea to the final product or the system, the so-called circular journey, which is planned with defined strategies.

By considering the circular economy as a circular strategy, there's lots to talk about, from material to technology, strategy to end customer, and organizational charts to target-based cooperation without any hierarchy. Along with all this, his talk will also discuss the interactions of design, passion, value, and impact by sharing WDO's activities and vision.

Paula Nerlich is a designer and an explorer. With her material research, she aims to support the elimination of so-called food waste through the creation of circular biomaterials from industrial food production surplus. In her practice as a material designer and as co-founder of Circular Home Lab, she initiates discourse around rethinking systems of waste, the food industry, and the community.

Paula is a PhD candidate at The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment  (HBBE) as part of the project The Living Textile Interface Group, led by Dr. Jane Scott. Her PhD project is titled The Materiality of Well-Being: Living Textiles as Interfaces to enhance Well-Being in the Built Environment. Her design research takes her off the planet with Bio-Futures for Transplanetary Habitats (BFfTH) and in the collaborative project ‘Human-Bacteria Interfaces’ Paula explores how we could design meaningful interactions between humans and the nonhuman within the everyday space of the built environment, focusing on mutualistic symbiotic modes of being.

LIVING MATERIALITY: TOWARDS TRANSITORY LIVING MATERIALS IN CIRCULAR SYSTEMS: Paula Nerlich will discuss new material thinking within circular systems. Exploring possibilities on how we could rethink the material world around us and move towards a more sustainable and healthy material landscape through two pathways: 1) Open-source skills sharing in DIY material making as a tool to empower individuals, communities, and design professionals to explore possible future implementations and opportunities of circular thinking. 2) Growth of living circular materials as the future of creating. Diving into a world of living materials that have the characteristics of biological systems: self-replication, self-regulation, self-healing, environmental responsiveness, and self-sustainability.

Sergio Dávila Urrutia is a designer with the conviction that the design approach can have a positive impact in developing the next evolution of our society. He studied for his BA in Mexico and an MA in combination Finland and the Netherlands. His work has been exhibited in Salone del Mobile in Milano, design museums in Helsinki and Amsterdam (Platform21), Bienal de Diseno in Mexico City and Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Since 2008 he has directed the studio "Vivencia Design", where he focused on projects that involved new technologies and experience design. His projects have ranged from set design to contemporary art.

Since 2014 Urrutia has been a research professor at the Metropolitan University in Mexico City and in his research focuses on social activation and transition design. From 2017 to 2021 he coordinated the BA in Industrial Design updating the study program, achieving the first international certification for the whole degree. Starting from 2021 he is in charge of external linkages for the Architecture & Design Faculty.

A NEW GENERATION OF BIODESIGNERS: Sergio presents an exploratory experience aimed at reshaping the notion of biodesign in order to strengthen the training of future industrial designers and to be more prepared to design with biotechnology. In the academy, we frequently hear the concepts of biodesign and bionics to indicate the application of biological principles in a project. However, little is discussed about biotechnology and its implications with biodesign in particular and with design in a more general scenario.

In this context, the question arises: What notion of biodesign is the one that should permeate today? To answer, a methodological work was carried out, which allows to explore the relationship between biotechnology and biodesign through a theoretical study and the development of several final projects for industrial design students. The results obtained exemplify an alternative perspective to biodesign, which is not necessarily simplified to the application of a biomaterial, but, on the contrary, can represent the proposal of a sociotechnical system that impacts the user, the community, or even the entire society.

Foto: Rui Camilo

Reet Aus is a PhD-qualified Estonian fashion designer and environmental activist, a natural rebel who founded REET AUS COLLECTION® and THE UPSHIRT®. Aus is a senior researcher at Estonian Academy of Arts, leading the circular design research direction in the Sustainable Design and Material Lab DiMa. She is a pioneer in the field of industrial upcycling for fashion and has developed the UPMADE® certification, in order to pass on her knowledge to brands and factories.

The mission of Reet Aus is to minimise the ecological footprint of one of the world's most contaminating businesses – the fashion industry – via industrial upcycling. This means producing clothing from pre-production leftover fabrics without any extra fabric, thus making Aus' clothes carbon neutral. Moreover, as the fabric that is used is virgin, it is made sure that the leftover fabric does not contain harmful chemicals, in addition that the production is socially responsible, meets workplace safety requirements, and does not use child labor. This radically not-wasteful new way of the production model is based on a scientific core methodology called UPMADE®.

DESIGN OF THE UNIVERSE: "We feel like we need a fashionable coat, a certain brand of jeans, pointy-toe shoes. But is it really so? Either we want things that are there or we have an idea of what we can't do without. And what happens when we step outside this world of things? How does the universe design itself? What do we really need? And how could things reach us? What is more important, the shape of the shoe toe or how it has materialized in our lives?"

Kärt Ojavee's (PhD) work is focused on future concepts of textiles and materials, as she likes to experiment with new technologies and traditional textile fabricating techniques, testing the borders of both disciplines. She is a founding member of Studio Aine, a materials design and development studio, whose research is focused on environmentally sensitive materials, material awareness and cross-domain networking. Studio Aine has experimented with growing materials using microorganisms, industrial residues and various forms of bio-waste.

Ojavee leads the research direction of bio-based materials in the Sustainable Design and Material Lab DiMa, a research center in the Estonian Academy of Arts. Her latest works include curating an international exhibition “Seaweed Ceremony”, group exhibitions include “Edible” at TAB 2022; "Material Change: Design and New Technologies” at Adamson-Eric Museum; installations at Shezad Dawood’s; "Leviathan: the Paljassaare Chapter” at Kai Art Center and a textile installation "Save As" in collaboration with Johanna Ulfsak at the Espoo Museum of Modern Art.

MATERIAL AFFAIRS: Through the case studies of material research by Stuudio Aine and the Estonian Academy of Arts DiMa lab, the relations of locally relevant materials are the focus of the presentation. It peeks into the questions of sources, value, narratives, and how could practice-led design research bring a change into the perception of materials around us.

Päivi Tahkokallio
is a designer, an entrepreneur and an advisor to the Board of Ornamo Art and Design Finland. In Tallinn Design Festival, in addition to leading the panel, Päivi is the BRUNO jury chairman. Tahkokallio was the President of BEDA (The Bureau of European Design Associations) on 2019-21.