‘I appreciate all designers, but I want to use my time to help solve global problems’, says designer Dave Hakkens (1988). His most noticeable projects, Phonebloks and Precious Plastic, address e-waste and plastic waste. Both are open source and building on global communities.
‘I discovered more and more that our system behind buying stuff doesn’t make sense. In the second year of my study I realized that being a designer I would be able to do something about it.’
Hakkens graduated from Sint Lucas Academy in Ghent in 2009 and four years later cum laude with two graduation projects from Design Academy Eindhoven. Both projects, Phonebloks and Precious Plastic, brought him instant world fame. His proposal for an entirely modular, and thus easy repairable, smartphone was embraced for a while by several companies including Google. So far, only Fairphone actually produced a modular device, but a growing community is developing the idea further.
Currently, Hakkens focusses most of his attention to Precious Plastic, an open source manual to build machines by yourself for recycling plastic waste. The project already has 40,000 followers around the world, sharing knowledge and ideas.
Meanwhile, Hakkens proves to be a great storyteller in videos that combine a distinctive kind of easy going wit with inspiring instructions and new ideas about how we can relate to stuff, old and new.