Food-waste Biomaterial Makers supported by Fab Lab Barcelona win top EU prize for innovative collaboration

The Remix el Barrio pilot has won the STARTS Prize, the grand award of the European commission that honors projects that demonstrate the successful integration of science, technology and art to contribute to social and economic innovation. They were mentored by Anastasia Pistofidou, who leads the Materials and Textile research line and coordinated by Marion Real, systemic designer at Fab Lab Barcelona

Remix el Barrio is a project by Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute of Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). It is the result of a pilot program from the Horizon 2020 European project SISCODE which studied European co-creation ecosystems. It was developed in collaboration with stakeholders from the district of Poblenou, Barcelona. A group of 12 local designers identified, analysed and co-produced nine solutions to collect and process the waste from local businesses into new materials or products. They were mentored by Anastasia Pistofidou, who leads the Materials and Textile research line at Fab Lab Barcelona. The solutions included the creation of packaging from coffee husks, soap from used cooking oil, furniture from olive pits and garments from orange peels.

Beyond the pilot, Remix el Barrio has transformed into a collective called ‘The Remixers’. They are now exploring further opportunities to employ co-design practices to the circular economy.

“We are exploring new practices to stop wasting our time and our resources and act at a local scale, to foster more social circular practices. We claim the need to imagine new models and techniques to innovate with what we commonly call ‘waste’” says the collective.”

The Remix el Barrio project has paved the way for a variety of local collaborations including a recent exhibition at the Design Centre of Barcelona. Fab Lab Barcelona promotes circular economy, co-creation and distributed design practices in the local community to advance the productive ability of a city through bottom-up innovation. The Grand Prize – Innovative Collaboration, recognises the potential of a Fab Lab to drive co-design and tangible innovation at the neighbourhood scale.

A pilot in Poblenou for the Centrinno project, a Horizon 2020 project running 2020-2024, will collaborate with local partners Poblenou Urban District and InnovaFP to further strengthen local strategies.

Project information
Contact: Paula Sanchez, Communication Manager, Fab Lab Barcelona. [email protected]