The ARA Innovation Space is a place where civil society, artists, researchers, creatives, students, industries and all those who are curious about topics related to circular economy can connect, exchange knowledge and together realize innovative and creative ideas.
We hope that through close interdisciplinary cooperation we can achieve real progress for Austria and Europe on the way to a circular economy.
In the coming months we will organize workshops, discussions, lectures as well as networking and creative events including an exhibition. Through our work we hope to develop new solutions for a more efficient use of our resources.
Whether you just want to listen or rather engage in discussions and even hands-on work, the ARA Innovation Space will have something to offer to you.
The overall focus of the ARA Innovation Space is circular economy and resource efficiency.
In the coming twelve months we will shed light on different aspects of what it takes to succeed in creating a circular economy. During our work, we want to pay special attention to:
- Future wastes: our anthropogenic stocks and construction
- Resources: plastics, aluminium and the textile industry
- Circular Design
- Circular Economics
Future wastes: our anthropogenic stocks and urban mining
We are living in a society of accumulation. Every year each one of us accumulates an additional 10 tons of material made up of goods, buildings and infrastructure adding up to an average of 340 tons of material in stocks per capita. Sooner or later all of this will turn into waste material.
What are these materials? When will how much of it become waste and how can we then make use of it? How are we going to deal with problematic materials?
Our special focus will be on the construction industry, aiming to find out what it takes to make construction a circular business.
Resources: plastics, aluminium and the textile industry
Plastics and aluminium are finite and energy intensive yet very useful and important resources which still pose a range of serious challenges in the attempt to redesign their material flow into a circular one. We want to find out what these challenges are and design solutions to the questions of efficient use and recyclability. The textile industry is confronted with similar challenges mainly due to our increasingly fast and quantity intensive use of clothes. How can the production of clothing become more sustainable? And what role does the consumer play in all of this?
What is circular design? How can we design products so that they last longer, can easily be reused and finally efficiently be recycled? Under the umbrella of circular design we want to look into packaging, electronics as well as the concept of dematerialization of products. Circular design asks for new modes of communication and cooperation between all levels of the value chain.
In what ways do we need to rethink our economic and business models to facilitate a truly circular economy? What kind of economic instruments would be desirable? And what kind of business models will help closing the loop? Let’s look and assess what is currently out there and try to think one step further by working out new approaches.
The ARA Innovation Space is dedicated to civil society, artists, researchers, creatives, students, industries and all those who are curious about topics related to circular economy. We wish to put a special focus on bringing together creative people with professionals from all segments of the value chain, hoping to include a larger spectrum of thought processes into the overall rethinking process of our economy.