STARTS Prize ´21 Exhibition

Remix el Barrio, Food Waste Biomaterial Makers

Anastasia Pistofidou, Marion Real and The Remixers from Fab Lab Barcelona, IaaC (INT)

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Grand Prize – Innovative Collaboration

Für innovative Zusammenarbeit zwischen Industrie oder Technologie und den Künsten (sowie dem Kultur- und Kreativbereich im Allgemeinen), die neue Wege der Innovation eröffnen.

Over the last 30 years, plastic production has increased by 620%.

In Catalonia alone, every day, 720,000 kg of food is thrown away. This wasted food, totaling 260,000 tons per year, is equivalent to the food needs of 500,000 people for one year. Remix el Barrio was born with the ambition to propose a learning space to encourage and nurture new practices based on food-waste crafts. It is the result of a pilot program where various designers learn about biomaterial design and explore projects with food scraps using artisanal techniques and digital fabrication. Remix El Barrio was created in the regenerative district of Poblenou, more specifically in the ecosystem of Fab Lab Barcelona, where designers united to co-produce new forms of crafts from their individual aspirations, benefitting from regular peer-learning sessions, access to machines and tools, and learning from the maker open source culture present all over the place. Each designer has initiated a creative design driven material innovation approach where they identify a recurrent local food waste case, learn about its characteristics, investigate how to best collect and process it, and imagine future applications and material life-cycle narratives. Then, they experimented with different recipes for making materials with appropriate flexibility, strength, and esthetics, and tested diverse fabrication techniques, from molding to extrusion, laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3D printing. Each project could have entered into an iterative loop of prototyping, fed by intrinsic people creativity and interactions with peers, lab gurus, external experts, local providers, and future users. This resulted in a strong diversity of projects with outstanding circular narratives, materials, products, and services:


Making paper and packaging from coffee husks, by Dihue Miguens Ortiz


Creating design objects such as lamps, chairs, and tiles from olive pits, by Silvana Catazine and Josean Vilar of Naifactory


A poetic approach to materialities using eggshells and yerba mate for design artefacts, by Lara Campos


A jacket made of vegan fruit leather based on orange peel, by Elisenda Jaquemot, Susana Jurado Gavino and Nuria Bonet Roca


Empowering natural dyes from avocado pits, by Giorgia Filippelli


Making Soaps from used oils, by Clara Davis


Designing a platform about regenerative circular design, by Laura Freixas


3D printing cookies from fruit peel and skins, by Secil Asfar


Making snacks for pets from restaurant food leftovers with environmental awareness, by Arleny Medina of Leka Restaurant


a collaborative artwork of nature´s color palette with natural dyes, by Anastasia Pistofidou and Fabricademy alumni 2019

Beyond the pilot, Remix has transformed into a collective that experiences circularity, not only by creating materials with local food leftovers but also by exploring collaboration, inclusiveness, and self-management towards shared knowledge with local actors and global outreach.

The Remixers’ leitmotiv: “We are exploring new practices to stop wasting our time and our resources and act at local scale to foster more social circular practices. We collaborate and involve local agents from the neighborhood such as restaurants, urban gardens, and neighborhood associations, to promote a local circular economy ecosystem. We affirm the potential of co-design, digital manufacturing, and crafts to reinvent our ways of producing, consuming, and living with awareness of the environmental ecosystem. We claim the need to imagine new models and techniques to innovate with what we commonly call ‘waste’. We value innovative and artistic practices as a motor for social change. We are convinced that living shared design experiences can facilitate the empowerment of territories to implement a circular economy.”

IaaC Fab Lab Barcelona: IaaC Fab Lab Barcelona is an innovation center rethinking the way we live, work, and play in cities. It is part of the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. The institution supports contemporary educational and research programs related to the multiple scales of the human habitat. Fab Lab Barcelona is also the headquarters of the global coordination of the Fab Academy program in collaboration with the Fab Foundation and the MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms.

Anastasia Pistofidou: Anastasia Pistofidou is a digital fabrication expert, wearables and e-textile practitioner, biomaterial maker, and educator. She incubated the Remixers in the technical and conceptual development of their biomaterial projects. She is the cofounder of FabTextiles experimental open source research lab and the cofounder of Fabricademy, Textile and Technology Academy. She also works as a content curator for FabFoundation.

Marion Real: Marion Real is a systemic design researcher exploring co-creation processes in the territorial transformations toward circular economies and cosmopolitan localism. She is currently working at Fab Lab Barcelona where she has coordinated the 10 pilots in the SISCODE project, including Remix El Barrio. She is also associate researcher at Estia, Chaire Bali and Centre for Circular Design.

The Remixers collective: The Remixers collective has emerged as a group incubated in IaaC Fab Lab Barcelona within the SISCODE EU project pilot. They experience the value of co-creation and open knowledge and formed a group of like-minded individuals who defend sustainability, cooperativism, shared infrastructures, and circular glocalism. They wish to further collaborate in establishing a space to experiment with local food waste and biofabrication with a goal to connect with local services, activate circularity, and scale up by collaborating with open-minded and visionary industries.


IaaC, Fab Lab Barcelona, Anastasia Pistofidou, Arleny Medina, Clara Davis, Dihue Miguens, Elisenda
Jaquemot, Giorgia Filipellini, Joseán Vilar, Lara Campos, Laura Freixas, Marion Real, Milena Juarez
Calvo, Nuria Bonet Roca, Secil Asfar, Silvana Catazine, Susana Jurado Gavino, Siscode partners, local
agents from Poblenou and Barcelona.

Remix El Barrio is part of the “SISCODE” project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation under grant agreement programme nº788217.