Gunther Pauli and his team of specialists, together with the Urban Sciences Lab and Valldaura Labs of the IAAC, have been working to redesign the New Porrima. The redesigned, solar-powered Race for Water boat will be present on July 23 at the opening of the Tokyo 2020/21 Olympic Games. As a starting point, Gunther Pauli visited Valldaura Labs on April 13th and 14th to lead a workshop with the Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings and Biocities students. This was a great opportunity to work together with an emblematic project for the international recognition of advanced sustainable and ecological design.

Gunther Pauli is a Belgian entrepreneur, economist born in 1951. In the early 90’s he created the first eco-friendly zero-carbon-emission factory. However, he ended the dream in 1993 when he discovered that the palm oil used to make his products was destroying the Indonesian forest. From there and after some time, he founded the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI) at the United Nations University (UNU) with the support of the Japanese Government. 

Three years before the Kyoto Protocol was agreed upon in 1997, Pauli directed a team of scientists to design a new business model that operates without emissions and without waste. Gunther’s book “The Blue Economy,” a result of this reflection, appeared in 2010 and since then has sold 1.4 million copies. His goal today is to disseminate all the innovations that the ZERI Foundation has developed. 

The Porrima wants to point towards three strategic goals: a limited production and a sensible consumption of plastic, promote material easy to integrate in a true circular economy, and repurpose infrastructures of the plastic industry. In order to contribute in its efforts, MAEBB students joined forces to face the challenge to refit the interior and exterior design of the solar boat with new materials. During this phase, the Urban Sciences Lab and the Valldaura Labs community prepared a digital model, built a 1:20 scale model and organized several activities to research and discuss design ideas and materials.