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The Exploded View Beyond Building

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Shaping a circular industrial ecosystem and supporting life-cycle thinking
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS AWARDS: existing completed examples
Project title
The Exploded View Beyond Building
Full project title

TEVBB is an iconic exhibition in the form of a full-size house that is made entirely of biobased materials, circular methods and stories about the changing value system of which it is part. This house stimulates all your senses and shows you the circular future. TEVBB proves that sustainable innovation is already affordable, manageable and possible on a big scale. Together we advocate for serious upscaling and a thorough system change, because you build a whole world if you build biobased.

What was the geographical scope of your project?
Does your project address mainly urban or rural issues?
Mainly urban
Does your project refer to a physical transformation of the built environment or other types of transformations?
It refers to a physical transformation of the built environment ('hard investment')
Has your project benefited from EU programmes or funds?
Has your project won an EU prize?
Your project is fully completed?
When was your project implemented?
How did you hear about the New European Bauhaus Prizes ?
Social media
On whose behalf are you submitting the application?
As a representative of an organisation
Please provide a summary of your project

The Exploded View Beyond Building is an iconic exhibition in the form of a full-size house that is made entirely of biobased materials, circular construction methods and stories about the changing value system of which it is part.

The exhibition showcases over 100 biobased materials made by 100 partner designers and producers. Our goal was to show what is already possible and what will be possible in the very near future. Visitors can scan every material to read up on who made it, how it is made, how far the development of the material is and so on. This way we give the visitor a real insight into the possibilities of sustainable building.

Besides that TEVBB experiments with different circular building methods like urban mining, 3D printing, detachability and modularity. The whole installation can be taken apart and built up somewhere else in no time. We created a traveling example of new ways of building.

We chose the shape of a house because this appeals towards a bigger audience the most. They can not only see the materials in real scale, they can touch and smell them and feel what it means to build sustainably. 

The house comes with trained storytellers on site to give tours and have conversations. Online we take the visitor on a short or a more extensive tour through the exhibition and we share stories divided in 4 categories: Health, Value, Neighborhood and Farming.

We find it very important to maintain the conversation on the changing value system we are witnessing now that we are moving towards more sustainability.

The other goal we had was to bring together producers, designers, builders, farmers, policy makers, artists, and knowledge institutes to share their insights, doubts, needs and fears so we can build together towards a real circular system of sustainable construction. Therefore we brought our partners together in The Embassy of Biobased and Circular Building. Because you can't change just one shackle without changing the whole chain.

Please indicate the main themes of your project with 5 key words
Biobased materials
Circular building
Value transition
Storytelling & design
Research & collaboration
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of sustainability (including circularity) and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

Bring actors from different parts of this new system together and let them work on something concrete, like a house, so they can share knowledge and learn from each other.
Show the world the possibilities of circular and biobased building.
Help the small producers with upscaling their materials and getting it certified.
Do the math. We wanted to come up with research that shows the impact of building with nature on CO2 levels, nitrogen levels, biodiversity, water mgmt, health of builders and civilians and so on.
Share our research with both experts and a broad audience on different stages and in a way that can be understood by both the experts (building world) as by the broader public.
Show the bigger picture when it comes to circular and biobased building. A picture of changing an ecosystem that involves farming, living, finance, policy and building

Reached goals
We have created TEVBB with over 100 partners from all fields on point and on scale.
We united the producers and designers in an active community continuing monthly knowledge exchanges.
We showed that it is possible to build in such a way that is affordable, scalable, healthy, green and beautiful. And we continue our tour with TEVBB and with the smaller version of it all around Europe.
We showed building green helps to reduce CO2 and nitrogen drastically, to enhance health for both builders as inhabitants and to give the farming world a new economic and value perspective by becoming the producers for the building world.
During DDW we reached over 50.000 visitors and organized 50 meetups in 10 days.
We were invited to place TEVBB at World Expo Floriade 2022.
We helped 9 design studios scale up their materials and apply for certification.
We collected and presented a lot of research on our website and in different presentations for both the building world as policy makers.
We got thousands of views on our online tours and were asked to speak at univeristies and other assemblies all over the world.

Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

We are going to be completely honest. Our main goal was to show how sexy sustainable building is. Because somehow people and especially the building world itself still have a lot of prejudices against building green. It is expensive, elitist, ugly, vague, impossible and so on.

We wanted to prove them wrong, not by fighting it but by making green sexy and beautiful. We wanted to show the new aesthetic sustainable building beholds. 

So our head designer Pascal Leboucq worked intensely together with many of the 100 designers and producers to make their material as good looking as they are innovative.

The result, as you can see on the pictures and films for yourself and as we heard from the visitors, speaks for itself. Green can be sexy, beautiful and good all at the same time.

But we went beyond aesthetics. It's not just about looks. We created a sensory, immersive experience to showcase our innovative materials and methods. By choosing the shape of a standard 2 bedroom house, we got a direct appeal to a broad audience. Everybody knows a house. Most of us live in one, many of us do some work on them. You can walk in it, you can touch the materials, read about them, ask questions to our storytellers and once you leave the house you want to get busy with everything you have learned in your own house.

People like it because  you don't have to know everything about materials, you don't have to be technical to understand the potential of what you see and feel. But if you do know your stuff, you can dive into the research as deep as you want.

The power of this installation is the combination of research and innovation on one hand and aesthetics, storytelling and experience on the other.

Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of inclusion (equal opportunities, public participation, citizen engagement, co-design, universal design, accessibility, affordability, etc.) and how these have been met.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context

We invested 2 years in bringing together our over 100 partners from all sorts. Having builders, farmers, policy makers, designers, professors, biologists and artists all together around a table is no sinecure. We had to find a common language and to help each other understand the world each of us came from. We still consider creating this network one of the most impactful achievements of this project because many of our partners now still work together.

Over 50 designers and studios all participated in this 1 project. That was not easy because they all have their own ways and insecurities and they all are in different stages of development of both material and organization. What we installed is that the bigger studios helped pay for the smaller ones. This worked very well, not only did it help financially but it created new liaisons between young designers and bigger studios.
Our head of Design worked together with every designer on helping them improve their materials to the highest possible standards of aesthetics and design.

We created an immersive, sensory experience where the visitor can walk through, read up on every material, scan for information and listen to the storyteller to understand the bigger picture. We also place TEVBB on international big events as Dutch Design Week and World Expo Floriade 2022 to reach a big audience

TEVBB has no entrance fee and stood during the Dutch Design Week on a public square to ensure that all that wanted could visit. Online we shared tours in Dutch and English and we shared all our research open source.

We had and still have a collaboration with universities, technical schools and green education. We not only shared research, we also guided over 40 students from different educational backgrounds to take part in the process of building and construction TEVBB. The project generated a lot of requests from professionals and students to come visit TEVBB or they invite us to come speak

Please explain how these three dimensions have been combined in your project.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary

The name of our organization is Biobased Creations. This means that we are a group of artists (designers and storytellers) that create art with nature in order to tell the story of a changing value system where we go from overproducing to circular, from taking to sharing, from a lot for a few to enough for all.

We combine philosophy with practicality. We don't want to use just words, we want to show in practice what we mean. To do so, we need to work with a lot of different people. It is essential when you talk about circular economy and biobased building that you involve all the parties that are needed to create the circle. Otherwise your story loses credibility.

Combining aesthetics and storytelling attracts involvement of all different kinds of expert parties. With their help we can do the research and create the dream so that we can attract a broader audience and network. They are drawn by the aesthetics and story of the dream and when they come to experience it we can involve them to take part in the bigger plan: the ongoing dialogue on values of our society. Where do we want to go towards and how are we going to do that?

We believe strongly in the power of art and storytelling to unite unlikely partners and to tell big stories in a high quality but accessible way to a diverse and broad audience. We, artists, are neutral because we don’t sell products, we don’t need votes, we don’t preach a belief, we just tell stories and leave room for debate, questions and dialogue.

We hope that in the coming years, artists will be asked more frequently to be involved in shaping the search for a more equal and sustainable future.

Please give information on the results/impacts achieved by your project in relation to the category you apply for

We assembled over 100 partners from the whole cycle of building to create TEVBB. This network has monthly meetings, exchanges knowledge and continues to meet and work together. Having this diverse network come together is essential in creating a circular industrial ecosystem and in establishing real life cycle thinking instead of just replacing 1 thing with another.

Part of the project is a programme with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). TNO analyses 9 of the materials in the installation for climate impact, application possibilities and development perspective. TNO then helps these producers to take the next step in bringing their materials to the market. The material producers are linked to market parties in the process. By working together you get to know each other and you can help each other. Smaller producers and designers are helped to get their materials approved more quickly and ultimately to sell them professionally. We also shared all our research on materials, methods and stories as open source to all.

We were able to share the story with a wide audience. We greeted 50.000 visitors in our house in only 10 days during the Dutch Design Week. And this is without all the online reach we had, and all the visitors to come. Each visitor met with our storytellers and listened to the story of a changing value system. The impact of storytelling is huge. If you understand, you will think and act upon it way faster than when you don’t. Because of the extensive media coverage we are certain that our impact reached way beyond the live visitors of the DDW. Over 40 different media outlets covered our stories both locally, nationally and internationally. We got featured on national news, in newspapers and also in a lot of specialized media, like design, architecture and construction magazines. TEVBB received media coverage in 15 different countries. All this media helps us tell the story that a new ecosystem is already possible today

Please explain how citizens and civil society were involved in the in the design and/or implementation of the project.
Please also explain the benefits that derived from their involvement.

TEVBB tells the story of a changing value system and the building of a new ecosystem where all parties of society will have different roles and responsibilities. So the involvement of civil society was and is essential to us. We worked together with schools, farmers, nature organizations, social building corporations, innovationlabs and so on. Besides working together on TEVBB we wanted to get the dialogue going on the impact of this new ecosystem. We held meetups where organizations from civil society would meet us and each other. Over 50 meetups took place in 10 days already and many will follow. TEVBB provides a concrete starting point to have a real dialogue about the bigger story. It shows what is possible, it shares research and it unites many different organizations.

Our involvement to the citizens as a broader concept, because of course all people working on this project are citizens as well, is that we created a very accessible, free installation that can be visited off and online and that tells a story. We involve citizens by giving them an experience and an opportunity to ask questions, to share stories and to be heard and seen in their curiosity and sometimes fear for the future to come. Havinglive storytellers made these dialogues possible. 

What we also do, and this affects both civil society and citizens, is give lectures and workshops on TEVBB and the bigger story of a changing value system. We adapt them to the audiences we will meet. Our background in theater and the combination of technical knowledge and a more philosophical understanding helps to address many different audiences.

You can not create a circular ecosystem without having all the peas in the pot participate. We have to tell the story to those who can tell the story to others. But most importantly, the story is not fixed yet, it is not done in being written.They contribute in writing and telling the story more than we ever could. We just gave a symbol, they put it in practice.

Please explain what kind of global challenges the project addressed by providing local solutions

The global challenges we addressed and still are addressing are:
shortage of affordable housing, CO2 and nitrogen abundance, declining biodiversity, crisis in that farming world in need for new business models, conservatism in the building world, conservatism in the policy world, the impossibleness for many young designers to upscale, the gap between innovation and industry, the lack of clear stories, the soft image of sustainability, Water: both in drought and in floods. And so on…

We addressed all of these issues by introducing building with biobased materials and circular methods. Because if you do so you can renew your landscape, help the farmers with new business models, take a hell lot of CO2 and Nitrogen out of the air or not produce them at all and create an affordable, healthy, green living environment for both men and animals, especially birds and insects.

We have so many stories of how we can tackle bigger issues but producing biobased materials locally. Too many to mention but here is an example to give you an idea how it is all connected.

Cattail and Reed.
The water shortage and floods can only be tackled if you wet some of your farmland. but then what will you grow there? And how will the farmer survive? By growing water crops like cattail and reed. They are amazing as fibers for biobase building materials and they take CO2 out of the air. And they help against the subsiding of the earth. When you use them in insulation they keep the wall breathing and make the air way more pure than non natural insulation.
So by building with these materials you suck the CO2 out of the air, you give space to water, you raise the earth, make a house healthy and you give the farmers perspective.

Please highlight the innovative character of the project as compared to mainstream practices in the field of the project.
  • This is the first ever project that showcased this amount of biobased materials on scale. Some of them never showcased before anywhere.
  • We showed that it is possible already today, to build green and sustainably for an affordable price.
  • What is most innovative is that we combined existing and proven biobased materials with innovative futuristic biobased materials into an public friendly, understandable yet high level executed installation.
  • We share all our research in a world that wants to keep their cards close to the chest.
  • We brought different worlds together to address the bigger picture and we made them collaborate.
  • We combined design and building with storytelling to get it out of the abstract and into the heart.
Please explain to the potential of transferring the projects’ results or learnings to other interested parties and contexts.
Please provide clear documentation, communication of methodology and principles in this context.

Change is needed in the way we build, produce, transport, grow and process our materials and methods because the CO2 and nitrogen levels have to come down. Our research and network show the possibilities for the building and farming world in Europe and beyond.

We also linked the story of building sustainably to a bigger value system change where we will have to rethink the way we do farming, energy, finance and more.

We share all our knowledge online, we answer weekly questions from all kinds of organizations, we give lectures and workshops and we still have monthly meetings with our ever growing network of partners.

We also still have a trajectory going with TNO where producers are linked to market parties in order to upscale their products, get certifications and find a route to the industry.

In 2020 we made a maquette, scale  ¼ of our house, called The Exploded View Materials & Methods. We have been traveling this model all over the place to tell the story in places where the big one doesn’t fit.

We have been asked by the Science Museum NEMO in Amsterdam to contribute to their summer expo 2022 on the future of building and construction. We answered yes and are now creating a 1/10 scale version of The Exploded View so that kids and their families can learn about materials, modular building and the possibility of a new ecosystem.

We were asked by the Dutch Embassy in Indonesia to create an expo for the summer 2022 where we will work with Indonesian bio designers to showcase what is possible in Indonesia. We will use the same tactics as in TEVBB, make a modular frame that resembles a house and place different samples of biobased materials in it.

And last but not least TEVBB is still touring. It keeps being updated, it keeps bringing both experts and visitors together and it keeps telling the story of a changing value system where sustainability is not a hypeword but a reality.

Is an evaluation report or any relevant documentation available?
If you would like to upload additional documentation, please upload it or write it below

Partner update monthly with the main partners to be found here:
Partners - The Exploded View and Embassy of Circular & Biobased Building

Updates were on Jun 15, Jul 13, Sep 14, Okt 5, Nov 2, Dec 7, Feb 15
and will be on Mrt 15, Apr 5, May 19, Jun 7, Jul 5, Sep 13, Okt 11, Nov 15, Dec 13

TNO project with the partners:
Blueblocks, Mogu, Klarenbeek & Dros, Strotec, Exie, Scape Agency, Rik Makes, Omlab, Waterweg, BPD, Buro Kade, Buyers group biobased bouwmaterialen, Caspar de Haan, Conceptbouwers, Fiction Factory, Primum, Provincie Noord-Brabant, Regio Alkmaar, Roosros, Space and Matter, Stichting Agrodome, Van Gelder, WAM&VanDuren

Articles: we were invited to write an essay on TEVBB for Collection Manifesto of Gallimard

Lectures and Workshops on these locations:
30 nov Almere, Price, lecture for biobased organisations. Netherlands
Amsterdam 2 feb, PACC, accounting for good, program on finance and sustainability Netherlands
Almere 7 feb, Price, Meeting of universities and policy makers. Netherlands
Almere 8 feb, Windesheim college Netherlands
Veurne 23 feb, Arcadis Belgium
Gent 23 feb, Design Museum Gent Belgium
Gent 22/04-1/05 Design Fest Lectures, workshops and presentations. Belgium
June -augustus 2022 NEMO Amsterdam
July 2022 Erasmus House Indonesia.

NEMO, Science Museum Amsterdam, our contact there is: esther hamstra
Indonesia: Erasmus House in indonesia, our contact there is: jaef de boer

TEVBB will open again at the World Expo Floriade 2022 from april 14th till october 7th 2022. There will be a trained storyteller present every single day. We have planned meetups with civil society and experts from the building world, policy makers, designers and so on every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for all 6 months. We also offer tours to parties that want to know more about the possibilities of the new ecosystem.
Exploded View Beyond Building - Floriade

The website shares with you all the info on materials, methods and stories

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