Over the next few months we’ll introduce you to some of the people and organisations in the T2C consortium. Today we have a blog post from Marjaana Tanttu, a PhD student at Aalto University in Finland...
I’m a doctoral student at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki. I started my doctoral studies in Fall 2015, with the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project, specifically focusing on the collaborative process between designers, material scientists and other professionals in the field of material development.
During my bachelor and master studies at Aalto I was involved in several multidisciplinary projects around materials, like the CHEMARTS summer school and Design Driven World of Cellulose. They got me interested in the collaboration side of design; working with people from diverse backgrounds was fascinating and inspiring, but at times also challenging because many of us were entering a new field and doing things for the first time.
Designers are accustomed to using a range of tools and methods to include user insights while developing new products and services. But weaving design insights into the development of new materials is a novel approach, so there are very few guidelines or previous examples to help people commencing this type of collaboration. This challenge motivated me to continue my studies to a doctoral level.
T2C is a very rich case for observing different aspects of collaboration, because it’s diverse in so many ways. It combines different nationalities, professional backgrounds, application areas and organisation types. I’m also very pleased that T2C emphasises sustainability, which I personally feel should be at the core of creating all materials and products for the future.