Shift Collective Project

Waste pollution is having a detrimental effect on our planet, compromising the safety of living environments, water quality and ultimately the future of our planet (Hoornweg et al Bhada-Tata 2012 ). Due to Indonesia’s coastal location, vast population and varied socio economic statuses, changing waste attitudes here is crucial.

Our project looks at education and awareness to combat the environmental issues being faced in Indonesia, focusing specifically on university students as the target of this project. Through education we are able to address waste and pollution in a holistic way. This is achieved through linking everyday practise to its environmental consequence and highlighting the changes that can be made on an individual level here in Indonesia.

‘Shift Collective’ is a program built on the culture of university communities and the spaces they occupy. It allows students to apply their intrinsic understanding of local cultures and social practice to a multitude of platforms to envision real change. As participating students move on in their future career, our program aims to equip them with a more fruitful understanding of sustainability, and, in turn, prevent the continued production of non-recycable materials and mismanaged waste.

Our website serves as a centralised hot spot for all information. Students can access programs, event and competitions and interact with our online community. Our website showcases information on environmental issues relevant to the local area as well as those being faced on a global scale. Here we can equip students with the education they need to implement a more sustainable mode of being into any facet of their lives.

Our online community is built through a strong social media presence linking together a community of like-minded participants. Through a variety of networks, such as Instagram, Facebook and Line, we are able to easily publish Shift information, with these platforms being fuelled by an increasing amount of user created content. As students interact with the program, their work, visuals and personal opinions are shared with the wider Shift community.

At the heart of the Shift program is our design competitions tailored to the context they work in, creating an opportunity for students to tackle environmental issues relevant to their local area. Through creative work and design led innovation, design that does not come from the existing market but rather creates a new market (Bucolo et al Wrigley 2013), the Shift program encourages future innovators and entrepreneurs. The competition requires students to push their creative practice and showcase to the wider community a new, sustainable innovation.

Our design competition relevant to Indonesia looks at the popular Aqua disposable cup. After re-designing a more sustainable version of the Aqua cup we ask students to brand it to an Indonesian markets. Features of the re-designed cup include:

1. Designed for Disassembly. The cup is completely made out of a single thermoplastic material, simplifying the manufacturing process and making it easier to recycle.

2. Its unique arrowhead shape, allowing it to tesselate when packaged, saving on space during transportation and hence, reducing air pollution.

3. And finally, being tailored to an Indonesian market. As products are required to be heavily packaged to contrast with the unsanitary environment in Indonesia, the design boasts a concealed drinking apparatus and transparent materiality to reinforce the cleanliness of the water.

By presenting the re-design competition we are able to engage students in a widespread and relevant problem. When engaging with the brief students learn about the different ways to create more sustainable products, something that will be extended on as the carry out the project. The competition creates a platform for us to promote and engage the students, as well as catch their attention through winner incentives. Ultimately we are able to apply their unique understanding of the culture to an environmental issue we have recognised. Once the Shift program has finished at a university whats left behind is an inspired and connected community.

– Sam Watson, Freya Orford-Dunne, Alexandra Shiel, Ellie Williams Roldan, Ashwin James and Melissa Yunita

Reference List

Bucolo, S. & Wrigley, C., 2013, Design led innovation as a means to sustain social innovation enterprises, CreateSpace Independant Publishing Platform, United States of America

Hoornweg, D., Bhada-Tata, P. 2012 “What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management”, Urban Development Series, vol. 15, viewed 11th of July 2015, <>

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