Students come up with creative designs for their minor Co-Design to make SAIL more sustainable
Students at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, under the guidance of Fundamentals Academy, spent two weeks doing Co-Design for SAIL, a major maritime event in Amsterdam. For their minor Co-Design, the aim was to come up with creative design proposals for making the five-yearly event more sustainable. Elisabeth de Jong of SAIL Foundation and Jens Gijbels of Fundamentals Academy look back on a successful collaboration.
“I was positively surprised by the results achieved in a fortnight with Systemic Co-Design (SCD),” Elisabeth says. “The students came up with good and concrete ideas of which elements can be implemented. With some concepts, the feasibility was a bit lower, but always very creative.” According to Jens, it was quite a challenge to come up with valuable results in just a fortnight. “SAIL is a huge event and has quite a few complexities that make it tough. There are multiple stakeholders, many things we don’t know and have no control over.”
For instance, one of the biggest challenges for this project is that SAIL takes place in public space. There is no fence around the site. “For example, you have a sustainable burger joint next to a traditional snack bar and that makes making SAIL sustainable difficult,” Jens explains. To provide structure, he worked with the students in two steps. “First, we mapped what the customer needed and looked at other places and events. For example, what pre-existing initiatives and examples could we find at other festivals or similar events? And step two, if we knew what alternatives were, how could we come up with new perspectives.”