Student internship programme starts next September at the University of Limerick

The student internship programme of the Erasmus+ project Circular Design will start next September in Ireland, hosted by the University of Limerick. Project partners are currently selecting twelve students, three each from the four partner countries (Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands and Sweden) will spend 12 weeks in Ireland from September 2017. The students – from different design disciplines including Product Design, Architecture and possibly Digital Media Design – will apply through a competition and costs will be covered for the duration of the internship.

The students will be divided into three teams (1 student from each country). Each team will undertake a Project Brief in partnership with an Irish SME, business or group that focuses on Circular Design and Innovative Design for Sustainability and have a keen interest in exploring sustainability through the lenses of environment, society, culture and economy.

The projects will focus on different themes exploring diverse levels of intervention for sustainable innovation, ranging from incremental Product-Technology systems up to radical scale societal system changes:

THEME 1: Retrofit: High-end office furniture is a challenging area with no prediction on how long products are going to be used and how they are going to be disposed of. These bespoke products are designed and produced for specific clients in mind, hence they all have unique forms, features, materials, and so on. Throughout this internship, you will be collaborating with OneOff Design – a design consultancy firm dealing with the design and production of these bespoke products – and design a take back system and reusable products/parts/materials.

THEME 2: Material Innovations: With continuously changing trends, fashion industry is massive and mostly unsustainable. The new colours, styles, fabrics, etc. of each year, this industry promotes a rapid and continuous cycle of mass-production and mass-consumption. Challenging this industry is no small feat, especially for SMEs with limited resources. Mamukko is one of the challengers, reusing ocean race sails and reclaimed life rafts and mixing them with leather and craftsmanship to upcycle them into one-off, durable products. Right now, they are looking for a way to introduce another reclaimed material – fishing nets – into their production. Throughout this internship, you are expected to explore the potentials of this reclaimed material and come up with innovative solutions on reusing it within the existing and potential capabilities of Mamukko.

THEME 3: Food Waste: Waste is wealth! Although waste is a globally discussed issue from its hazardous effects on nature to loss of valuable resources, it requires locally specific solutions on the city or regional scale to uncover its potentials to be repurposed in a locally meaningful way. Food waste is one of the main concerns with this regard; it needs to be understood from both individual-consumer micro-level perspective as well as community-local opportunities at macro-level perspectives. Throughout this internship, you will work with Southern Region Waste Management Office (SRWMO) as your main stakeholder. You are expected to reimagine the food waste management in Limerick City and explore ways of preventing, repurposing and/or upcycling the locally produced waste in a locally beneficial way.

 

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