Local Discontinuity

 with ReFlow Vejle - 2020

A holistic proposal to locally turn bio waste into a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic.

As I was looking for a concrete context to unfold a genuinely holistic design approach, my collaboration with ReFlow Vejle allowed me to envision scenarios that empower citizens and companies to cut down the need for single-use plastic. Local Discontinuity proposes to use bio waste as a resource in creating new local materials, generating at the same time positive social and economical impacts on local communities.

ReFlow is a Horizon 2020 framework looking at the circularity of resources within urban systems. Its aim is to identify and trigger better practices regarding the use and circularity of these resources through citizen engagement. Several european cities joined the project as pilots, each of them focusing on a different type of resource: the Danish city of Vejle chose to work towards the circularity of plastics.

I initiated a collaboration with the pilot in Vejle with the intention of testing an approach inspired by the Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability promoted fx. by Enzo Manzini. I was determined to adopt a holistic perspective in order to investigate enablers and barriers towards the emergence of local loops of circular economy.

Process overview


Scoping of initial objectives and vision, and gathering of relevant litterature and references.


Exploration of Vejle and of the project’s ecosystem through observations, interviews, production of conversation prompts and surveys.


Formulation of a design-orienting scenario based on the gathered insights, and assessment of this scenario through conversations with international experts. This phase leads to highlight three key steps of the scenario: the sorting and collection of biowastes, the transformation of biowastes into bio-based materials and the reaction of the public to those new materials.


Formulation and execution of a threefold design program aiming to investigate those three key nodes of the scenario. An experiment was crafted for each of the nodes, to unveil the factors at stake in enabling the wider scenario.


Collection, formating and dissemination of insights emerging from the different experiments of the design program. This was done through an open-source report embedding the findings of the project in wider ecosystemic considerations and proposals for Vejle.


Although very much challenged by the consecutive waves of Covid-19, the citizen engagement agenda of Reflow keeps going and came to touch upon the topics brought into the light by Local Discontinuity.

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Louis Rose 2020
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Design of sustainable solutions