We are going to make it


researching local sustainable value chains in the municipality of De Marne


A lot of material, knowledge and talent is available in the region. Is it necessary that we import so much? Can’t we grow the raw materials ourselves? And can’t we make the materials and products ourselves? A collaboration between people who still know how and young people who can work with the new digital tools? If we do so, the region remains attractive to live in and we can furnish our homes, businesses and schools with materials that are locally produced. And when we no longer need the stuff, they are reused or go back into the ground.

Make it local
Commissioned by the municipality of De Marne, House of Design started the pilot ‘We are going to make it’ in September 2016. We investigated the possibilities of local crops, materials, knowledge, talent and demand, in order to achieve local, sustainable production chains for the region. We link the local manufacturing industry to 21st-century skills such as digital fabrication, resulting in new insights and innovative ideas. Young people inspire us with new techniques by letting them discover how they can play a role in their own future in the region.


  • Material research by designers Volken de Vlas, Gerard de Hoop, Simone Larabi, Melle Koot and Paul Bloemers
  • Value chain sessions in which we connect the various stakeholders in the chain around a certain material
  • 3D education at Het Hogeland College for teachers and students
    Workshop 3D and entrepreneurship; start-ups in new production chains.
  • 3D workshop during local festival in Zoutkamp (NL)
  • Research into consumer behavior in collaboration with students from the Hanzehogeschool – Human Technology
  • Exhibition with results in the library in Leens (NL)
  • Lecture designers and 3D workshop in library in Leens


The Making Site (maker lab)
All these activities form the preliminary research for setting up a manufacturing site. This is where all links of the chain come together. A testing ground where we meet and where young and old work on new, sustainable production chains with local crops and new technologies such as the 3D printer. In February 2019 we will start with setting up two Lokal Maker Labs (more information soon available)

We are now busy with the follow-up and are looking for thinkers and doers from the region; farmers, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, makers, designers, craftsmen and others! You can contact us via info@houseofdesign.nl.

By connecting all links in the chain, we have brought people together and formed a community. From this community opportunities can be developed in the region. We see opportunities for additional business models for farmers and fishermen, which creates employment and the word remote no longer applies.

  • Two participating designers Gerard de Hoop and Volken de Vlas have set up the VOLOP label around recyclable materials and raw materials from the region. They continue with the research and development of products. And they are partners in the continuation of this project, setting up the Maker Lab.
  • VOLOP has made a design for an electric charging station for the province of Groningen in the Blauwestad under the name ‘STOP contact’. This bench is a charging point for electric bikes. The energy comes from solar panels in the bike path.
  • Hogeland College is our partner in 3D education. We enjoyed the first collaboration and continue to organize a masterclass 3D for students from all locations. A team is put together to build a 3D printer and to investigate material, process and demand.
  • Designer Melle Koot continues to investigate seaweed with a biochemist. Visser Johan Rispens from SOLT supplies the seaweed.
  • Designer Simone Larabi continues with the combination of hemp and chitosan. She is researching how she can develop unique acoustic panels in the region.
  • Designer Paul Bloemers wants to continue with the stalk of rapeseed and local bamboo as a raw material for filament and sheets.
  • Architect Haiko Meijer from Onix has designed a tiny house – LutjeLaif – and is looking for collaboration with the designers for the interior.
  • Mayor Koos Wiersma has made the manufacturing industry a spearhead in his vision for the region.
  • Students from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences conduct market research for souvenirs made from local materials.
  • Together with partners De Holm, Oog & Coach, Onix and Volop, we are working on the follow-up process; setting up the production site where all links from the chain come together. Applications are now being written for various funds.
  • The project “Dak eraf” contacted us to add our experiences in their project and resulted in a Design Pressure Cooker.


As a conclusion of the project We are going to make it, we have made a newspaper in which you read more about the project and the results. Click on the picture below to read the newspaper.


Where: Municipality of de Marne
When: September 2016 – December 2017
Financial support: Municipality De Marne, Loket Leefbaarheid Groningen, Province of Groningen.
Partners: Municipality de Marne, Biblionet Groningen, Hogeland College, Hanzehogeschool.
Tags: Local, value chain, material research, Biobased Economy, circular economy, 3D education.
End report: (Dutch only) Click here
Blog: https://wegaanhetmeemaken.tumblr.com