About me

Hi! I am Will van Twuijver, a Rotterdam-based designer and part-time farmer working on regenerative design processes. This means that my work is informed by an overarching goal to design and develop systems that integrate environmental restoration and human wellbeing. In practice, my work is focused on the intersection of sustainable food production and grassroots-initiatives.

Focusing on this intersection allows me to explore alternative forms of food production and distribution that are based on solidarity principles, return to a human scale and increase awareness on the natural processes that form the basis of our food system. I have several years of involvement in grassroots initiatives that explore such alternatives, including projects that involve Community Supported Agriculture initiatives, waste food processing collectives and home-brewing.

In 2012 I graduated with a bachelor in interior architecture at Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, followed by a master in Collaborative & Industrial Design at the Aalto University, Finland in 2019. To further deepen my understanding on regenerative design, I completed multiple courses on the topic. Such as a minor studies on Sustainability, a certified permaculture design course and attended several summer schools. Currently, I am enrolled in a two year course in biodynamic agriculture at the Warmonderhof in the Netherlands.

Aalto Test-Site 4

  • General information
  • Year
    2017 – present
  • Location
    Aalto University, Finland
  • Topic
    trial-and-error, community processes
  • Status
    Completed

The Test-Site is an experimental space for students to gain more practical experience with sustainable practices and is located on the campus of the Aalto University in Finland. This project is a student-led initiative that arose out of the desire to shift the Creative Sustainability programs curriculum towards a more hands-on direction.

Activities

Since the kick-off of the ‘Test-Site’ in 2017, multiple teams of students have been setting up different experimental projects. These projects range from maintaining a vegetable garden, making soap from old deep-fryer oil, to building a biogas reactor. In addition, the Test-Site community organised monthly social events, workshops and communal building days.

Overview of several activities on the Test-Site

Development

The search of developing the Test Site in an inclusive and open space for co-learning was part of an ongoing process. Over time the methods and strategies used evolved naturally or were deliberately iterated. For example, in the early phases of this project the focus was mainly centred on finding a format for democratic participation and identifying inclusive activities, while in the later stages the focus shifted more towards strengthening the community aspect of the project. As the Test-Site was run by students, most of us had to gain or improve our capabilities with community-led design through a trial-and-error approach. Thanks to the mutual trust, persistence and patience we were able to do so.

Partnerships

The Test Site has been supported by the Finnish innovation fund ‘Sitra’, Aalto Sustainability Hub, ACRE and Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY). The initiative also participated in the launch of Aalto Sustainability Hub and the ‘Paradox City’ exhibition, invited a local permaculture teacher to host an introduction to course. In addition, the Test-Site was used as a case study in the UWAS Innovative Approach to Circular Economy course and the Thinking in Systems course, both taught at Aalto University.

Impression of the Test-Site’s contribution to the ‘Paradox City’ exhibition