There is cross-collaboration in multiple domains caused by scientific research and propelled by global needs such as the urgency to implement cleaner technologies where economy, society, and environmental protection can thrive. How might we move towards regenerative systems with textile materials?

Photo by Alexandra Mateus

Some years ago, I got inspired by the work developed by Suzanne Lee on bacteria-grown clothes with reduced environmental impact encouraging bio lab practices. Also, Neri Oxman on designing at the intersection of tech and biology. Later, in Eindhoven at the DDW (Dutch Design Week), I saw other examples, such as making materials from living organisms, which made me…

What ‘ Local’ holds? And why? In the face of ecological collapse, the fundaments on these two questions cannot be overstated. Confronting how we view the term is paramount in tackling the planet’s environmental crisis.

Photos by Alexandra Mateus

As a non-native resident of Stockholm (I’m from Lisbon), I often reflect on the word’s significance: local. The term represents actions that have many different outcomes, sometimes in unequal ways. Local relates to scale, regional, national, global, planetary. Would it refer to a place close to where you live, where you belong, or both?

When we see land as a community to which we belong…

Algarve coastline (photo by Alexandra Mateus)

I was running along an Atlantic beach in southern Portugal this winter. I like to run and think. Unusually empty this time of year, seagulls were crying. I have learned a lot about the environment and sustainability over the past year. This time at the beach gave me a moment to reflect on these ideas.

“In this catastrophic ecological reorganization, unique collections of plants and animals are forming new alliances — novel ecosystems. Their formation is intrinsically linked with human activity — a demonstration of the defiant perseverance of the natural world in response to climatic and environmental change”…

How might we embrace circular design practices.

Kurasaki beach after the typhoon (photo by Alexandra Mateus)

When I landed in Kagoshima two years ago in October, after a typhoon that happened 1–2 days before, it was impressive to see how much the Oceans were hiding under the water. It created more damage than usual. Thereby, huge volumes of plastic, disposable packaging, different parts of home appliances, nets among other large things we could perfectly name as garbage was spread along the Kurasaki beach. That was just a small sample.

In this context, rubbish is carried to sea by main rivers picking up more and more junk as they move…

Synevyr National Park, Zakarpatska, Ukraine (photo by Alexandra Mateus)

As our lives get busier, connected to technology, with nature deprivation, absorbed with our urban lives, we become increasingly disconnected from the natural world and the ecosystem. Traveling to the picturesque Carpathians, Skhidnytsya in Ukraine, where the air is somewhat rarefied and very clean, a way of life close to nature and in tune with the seasons persists. People are interwoven with natural systems thus, human activity here boosts the environment and Nature to thrive. The place has encouraged my reflection on how we can benefit from traditional ways of life combined with today’s innovation and knowledge towards nature.


Myself crossing the Swedish Lapland

In a recent journey to the Swedish Lapland, I learned how human impact on Earth has been so profound worldwide, and how pristine areas are still preserved with the care of local communities. It is not only in the way we travel but how we collectively collaborate for a responsible future.
I decided to participate in the Fjällräven Classic event in Lapland to seek a connection with the natural world. Moreover to gather insights into how to see the travel experience from a holistic viewpoint. After all, it seemed to be an attractive outdoor activity therefore, I was willing to get…

Bunes beach (photo by Alexandra Mateus)

Far to the north in the arctic circle, there is the cluster of islands — Lofoten Islands, that highlights out of the mainland towards the west in Nordland Norway. This archipelago gives some of the most dramatic scenery of mountains, untouched lands, trails, as well as turquoise sandy beaches. The timeless summer days are an antidote to our increasingly frenetic lives.
Almost three years ago, I landed in Reine in Moskenesøy. This area makes a great base to visit one of the most pristine beaches I have ever seen. Though unfortunately, this isolation does not always mean the beach is uncrowded…

Alexandra Mateus

Senior UX designer • Traveler • Circular design • Material futures •

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