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Field-to-Face: Beauty in Biorefining

At Pontio, in North Wales, a new Masters by Research in Relational Design (#api_MRRD) is designed to help you make a positive step-change in a live wellness project for a region.

The elements of a thriving bio-economy exist in Wales – but they are disconnected. One project scenario could be a product-service platform that links biorefining and beauty.

Natural ingredients have the potential to transform everyday products in ways that enhance wellness – from skin care, to coffee bags. Citizens want this to happen: demand for all things natural, local, and small scale, is huge.

The elements of a thriving bio-economy exist in Wales – but they are disconnected. The country’s uplands, for example, are filled with grasses, colourful wild flowers. A variety of citizen researchers, meanwhile, are exploring the cosmetic, culinary, medicinal and aromatic potential of the region’s plants. There is processing expertise, too: Bangor’s Biocomposites Centre has plans to develop a network of grassland micro-refineries that would produce fibres, proteins and oils on a regional scale. Above all there is a market need – for biopolymers, packaging, essential oils, cosmetics, personal care products, nutraceuticals.

A Relational Design masters can be about connecting this patchwork of human, ecological and technical potential. What’s probably needed are a product, a field-to-face trading platform, and a sustainable business model.

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