Thom Bindels graduated Cum Laude from the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2017, in the department Man & Leisure, with his projects ‘Desert Pioneer’ and ‘Digging Conditions’.
From 2016 to 2018 he collaborated as a designer and researcher with Lode Bruins in their R&D lab in Amsterdam, developing new building materials and sustainable concepts. His graduation project ‘Desert Pioneer’ is currently in development together with a multidisciplinary team in Uganda.
As a starting point Thom focusses on our relation to the earth and our natural surroundings. He finds possibilities through a process of learning by doing. By looking at the borders between political, social and mechanical disciplines, Thom tries to create a synergy between previously disconnected fields.
Project: Ecosystem Kickstarter
The project’s mission is to improve the resilience of communities and natural ecosystems by restoring landscapes in a sustainable way.
In a nutshell, our approach is based on a foldable structure made from biodegradable cardboard fibres, applied on a slope and filled with local soil to function as a terracing structure. Inside the product are both pioneer seeds and nutrients added during the production process.
The rooting systems have time to develop due to the short-term protection of the biodegradable structure in the vulnerable phase of vegetation development. When there is a sufficient rooting system, the cardboard decomposes and adds carbon to the soil. The anti-erosion function will be taken over by the new vegetation, improving water infiltration and soil structure to help the ecosystem get over the ecological threshold.