About Dome Upcycling

 

There is no joy equal to that of being able to work for all humanity and doing what you’re doing well.  Buckminster Fuller

Preserving nature has always been close to my heart. Already when I started my studies 25 years ago I wanted to find solutions to reduce the amount of waste on the planet instead of contributing to producing more waste. In my first student projects in 1992 I developed a waste separation bin for the office made from recycled plastic and a juice dispenser machine for the supermarket where customers could bring their own refill containers. At that time many of my colleagues were wondering what I was doing. To me those issues were important already then and now even more so. More and more people start to realize their importance.

I came to Finland in 1996 to study Design Leadership and define my role as an industrial designer in creating a sustainable society. Finnish design in every aspect has hugely inspired me with its high quality handicraft, timelessness, inspired by nature and practical approach. During my studies I wanted to find out how I can have a positive impact on people and the planet with my own professional skills and actions. 

My mission is to bring well-being and happiness to people by energizing them through creative and sustainable activity. Each of us has the power to create the world we want to live in!

I identified two major challenges in Finland that I felt needed to be addressed, huge amounts of textile waste and the high unemployment rate of immigrant women. 

Therefore, I founded Finland’s first Upcycling Design Center in December 2016. The first goal of the Upcycling Design Center is to empower unemployed women, especially immigrant women, through meaningful activities and training that support their integration and encourage them to start their own business or find a job. The second goal is to find solutions to the huge waste problems our society is facing.

With the support of Finncontainers Oy, Designmuseo and the Museum of Finnish Architecture I was able to help transform the lives of 6 unemployed immigrant women who participated in the first training period. They improved their skills among other things in upcycling design, creative thinking, handicraft, sustainable development, entrepreneurship and Finnish language. 

In return, this first group of wonderful women transformed my life by opening my eyes to important issues they deal with in everyday life and what is needed for their integration and well-being. They empowered me. They carry on to support each other and I am truly thankful for their participation and the inspiration they have given me. I am hoping that many more women will be empowered and inspired by participating in the Upcycling Design Center’s activities and that together we can create a more sustainable and peaceful society. 

In 2019 we established Dome Upcycling store and started building our community of makers in Helsinki, Itis shopping center.

Isabella Haas, founder of Dome Upcycling