Concept Phase

Garbage, containers, garbagemen
Garbage, containers, garbagemen, and dirty smells are not really sparkling topics, I would say.

But we, as Experience Designers can make every topic sparkle, fun and most of all: an experience!

So, that is what we did on 6 November at Afvalservice (garbage service) Breda. On this day we discussed the theme of creating concepts, including the questions: What is the importance of a strong concept? And how do you create a strong concept? And probably most important of all, what is a concept? Well, let me start with that question! Because we see concepts as the HOW of the WHY of an organisation. How are you going to show your why (mostly translated in a vision) to the rest of the world? We see concepts as the underlying thoughts of the products and services a company offers to its consumers.

Afvalservice gave us the opportunity to work at their location for the whole day. In the morning we started with the theoretical part. This part is always open to visitors to learn collaboratively. Today, three employees of Afvalservice joined the theoretical part. The reaction of one of the client was priceless! She said: “Learning like this gives me the feeling I immediately want to study again!” After the theoretical part, the students went outside to get inspiration. We call this: Straatjutten! They got the assignment to go outside and take pictures of the environment. Making yourself completely crazy by continuously asking the “WHY” question, which arose interesting new suggestions and inspiration. Thinking out of the box, looking for innovation rather than lingering in your own traditional circle of thinking. After (gaining) a lot of interesting and usable information, employee Jesper Emmen of Afvalservice Breda presented an extended explanation of the assignment that Afvalservice Breda had for us. Afvalservice Breda is facing a problem regarding the underground garbage containers. When they introduced the containers, everybody was really enthusiastic about them. Now they still are, but they see that because of these containers a lot of garbage is placed everywhere around the containers instead of in the container.  So, the challenge they had for us, loud and clear, was: how can we make sure that the container areas are clean and stay clean? Do we have to make waste processing fun?

After a delicious lunch that was offered by the Afvalservice’, the students started facing the challenge! During the concept creation phase students again started by gaining inspiration by opening up to topics which had nothing to do with the question. This gave them a fresh and open mindset and it enabled them to think out of the box and see new opportunities!

Concept 1: Make trash great again
This concept encourages a social challenge to activate people. The concept makes throwing away trash fun and easy. By interacting and adding game elements it becomes a competition to become the cleanest areas of Breda. Included a one-liner: “Niet geschoten is altijd mis” (Nothing ventured, nothing gained).

 Concept 2: Buzz it or be buzzted!
This concept shows people the importance of waste processing. It encourages people to throw their garbage in the containers instead of on the pavement. They came up with a campaign to raise awareness.

Concept 3: Quick and dirty
“Speel het vies, houd het schoon” wants to change the wrong waste processing behaviour of the citizens of Breda by using an interactive game. Using 3D painting around the garbage containers would make throwing away garbage more fun and challenging. Walking over a high bridge, a small rope or across crocodiles and lions, it is all possible with the 3D painting experiences.

Concept 4: Complimentainer
The complimentainer ensures the rewarding of good throw-away behaviour by means of a motion sensor. Good behaviour will be rewarded with a positive fact or compliment. When the trash is not thrown away properly (so, on the pavement), this person receives an appropriate comment from the complimentainer. In this way, citizens of the municipality of Breda will become more aware of their behaviour related to the waste processing in a positive and unique way.

The reactions of the employees of Afvalservice Breda were amazing!

“I experienced it as a fantastic opportunity to have a guest lecture like this. In addition, I found the results surprising (especially for this short period of time). A very inspiring day!”
– Ankie van den Berg-Holst

“Inspiring way of working by linking theory to practice directly. I also find the results of some groups really surprising and

feasibe. The ideas were created in such a way we can execute them in a short period of time. This day really triggered me to go
studying again!”
– Ine Wilms


“learning like this gives me the feeling I immediately want to study again!”