Interview about 2022 DIA Award-winning Works | COZoo: Looking Forward to the Carbon Trading Event in Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo

The weather is getting warmer and warmer, and the summer is coming. Do you still remember the long-lasting extreme hot weather and the drought during the flood season of the Yangtze River last summer?

Carbon dioxide - this is a term that most people are familiar with, and our life is closely related to it. When the carbon dioxide emissions on the whole earth are excessive, the greenhouse effect caused by it will lead to the rising average temperature globally and even more complex and drastic climate change, which is a domino effect that will bring destructive natural disasters and seriously threaten the ecosystem and human society.


During the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, China's ecological civilization construction entered a critical period focusing on carbon reduction as the key strategic direction, pushing the synergism of pollution reduction and carbon reduction, promoting the comprehensive green transformation of economic and social development, and realizing the improvement of ecological environment quality from quantitative change to qualitative change. The State has made a lot of efforts for the goal of carbon neutrality and carbon peaking, so what can we do as individuals?

Teachers and students from the Eco-Crisis Design Team of the School of Design, Central Academy of Fine Arts designed the "Carbon Trading Experience Platform Zoo Station-COZoo" with Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo as the object. This work won the 2022 DIA Young Talents Award of the Concept Group, and the Future Vision Award of the “Zootopia International Joint Practice Camp".

Accept the award at the Award Ceremony of 2022 DIA

(The first from left is the representative of COZoo's design team)

The initial intention of a beautiful home: Ecological island + You = Ecological community

Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo is known as a "conscientious" zoo. Different from traditional zoos, it abandons animal performances, upholds the values of "people and animals are equal in the face of disasters, and animals also play an important role in the ecosystem", and centers on animals, and their cares for these human companions have moved countless netizens.


The Eco-Crisis Design Team of the CAFA School of Design and Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo appreciate each other in protecting the natural ecological environment and caring for the earth.


The team was invited to participate in the "Zootopia International Joint Practice Camp" to carry out innovative design such as service system upgrade for Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo. After field investigation, desktop research, brainstorming, conceptual design, system construction and platform construction, the team put forward the core concept of "Ecological island + You = Ecological community" to coordinate the relationship between people and animals and save the ecological environment through the transformation of material circulation in the zoo.


COZoo: Carbon trading experience in the zoo

"COZoo" Zoo Station is a carbon trading experience platform. Empowered by arts, COZoo is an embodiment in the real world of "carbon peaking and carbon neutrality” based on carbon trading experience, and is committed to improving public awareness of carbon trading, building a green economic lifestyle with zoos as the medium, and improving the ecological environment and global warming.



Introduction video of COZoo:


Specifically, in COZoo carbon trading mode, the zoo will allocate 50kg of carbon emission credits to each visitor entering the zoo, and visitors can simulate carbon emission trading during their visit. From the mode of transportation that the tourists choose before entering the zoo, to whether they take a tour bus, play entertainment facilities, buy drinks in vending machines, etc., all of the visitors’ behaviors will affect the increase or decrease of their carbon emission credits.

CO comes from carbon dioxide, and it also represents Complexity, Collaborate and Community. Focusing on the core concept of “Ecological island + You = Ecological community", COZoo promotes the synergism of pollution reduction and carbon reduction from three aspects: carbon trading experience project, art exhibition empowerment and brand upgrade by establishing consumption patterns such as CO-library, CO-factory and CO-market, and promotes the green transformation of economic and social development.


The design team and the "Odor Library” jointly created the Co-Library Experience Hall. The Co-Library tends to use local materials and extracts different animal excreta by distillation and drying, and produces perfumes with different animal odors after processing them, or adds some plant fragrance.

In CO-Factory, visitors can personally experience the production of ecological materials and artistic creation. CO-Factory is a carbon cycle place where animals and people cooperate together. For example, Pennisetum sinese Roxb, after the chewing, acid and enzyme digestion by elephants, will turn to feces rich in plant cellulose, from which we can purify pulp to produce peripheral paper products. The design team suggested a new type of biological composite material-sprayed plant fiber, which is based on the expansion of cotton fiber spraying technology. The interesting point is that the fiber layer can be sprayed on the attachment like a three-dimensional brush and quickly form a film. Visitors can participate in the production and make their own unique souvenirs. This link is participatory and interesting, and visitors will fully realize that plant fibers in feces can reduce carbon footprint and industrial energy consumption.


After drinking a cup of coffee, the coffee grounds of which can be recycled, tourists will come to the carbon trading center: CO-Market jointly created with FRESHIPPO. Here, visitors can use their carbon credits to get a light meal, the "herbivore" lunch, and experience the "food" of animals. Packages and labels in supermarkets will be made of bio-environmental materials, such as graphene materials. The team combined CO-Market's unique carbon trading experience with FRESHIPPO, a brand with delivery attribute and community attribute, to form a consumption area upgrade featuring brand consumption, education continuation and full chain experience.


COZoo: Change behavior patterns from the consumer side

The design team believes that longer public education and the influence and transformation of consumer behavior may be required at the consumer side, and the creation of consumption scenarios is very important. Therefore, the team started from the consumer side and used design innovation to realize the emission reduction of the consumer side.


You have designed so many links for carbon trading experience in the platform, does it mean that visitors will definitely reduce carbon emissions during their visit? The answer is no. Because individual carbon emission reduction is closely related to his or her behavior choice, visitors may find that their carbon emissions have increased in the carbon experience report after the visit.


So why you have designed the COZoo platform? In fact, in terms of carbon trading, the trading system determines the trading market, and COZoo is an attempt to establish a tripartite system mechanism of users, environment and animals for Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo. Only when such a mechanism is formed can we get an opportunity to formulate a credit transaction model based on the interaction scenario of human and nature. In the face of the trend that CCER is expanding to more industries, zoos can manage visitors' green behavior together with their own carbon assets to achieve higher economic value and higher social and cultural value. In addition, the education target is gradually shifting from enterprises and institutions to individuals in the promotion of carbon neutrality. As a community of ecology, animals and people, zoos have become one of the best sites to promote carbon experience education. COZoo changes visitors’ behavior habits by guiding their behavior patterns in visiting zoos, and deepens the concept of low-carbon emission reduction into everyone's mind.


Design team: Eco-Crisis Design

Led by Professor Song Xiewei, Dean of the School of Design, Central Academy of Fine Arts, the COZoo design team is composed of Jing Siyang, the convener of Eco-Crisis Design and graduates Ni Erlu, Li Chaoqun, Wang Xiaotong, Wang Qi, Fan Shuyi, Guo Yizhuo and Lu Boyun from various majors. Eco-Crisis Design is a new discipline of CAFA School of Design. Starting from nature and life, it is based on interdisciplinary practice, studies all creatures including human beings; with the research media spanning multiple scales, it predicts the uncertain future, and provides non-"one-off", long-term, flexible, multi-level vision and open solutions.


Online team collaboration


At present, COZoo is only a conceptual form, and has not yet landed in Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo. COZoo has been included as one of the pilot projects of “Co-Space”, an eco-space planning platform initiated by the design team and Zoop, a research project of Het New Institute in the Netherlands. The team will learn from the advantages and methods of COZoo and promote it to more spaces with "ecological attribute” and evolve in a creatively manner.


As the first international academic award in the field of industrial design in China, the Design Intelligence Award (DIA) has gained wide popularity in industrial design at home and abroad since it was first held eight years ago. Including COZoo, the 2022 DIA has attracted 8010 entries from 70 countries and regions. In the future, DIA will continue to serve as a stage for more design teams and designers at home and abroad to show their strength. Welcome all kinds of outstanding works to gather on the DIA platform, actively display cutting-edge design concepts and unique creative design achievements, and create more possibilities for the future life of mankind!



 Author | Ni Erlu

 Editor  | Xia Jia

 Executive Editor  | Fan Fei

 Reviewer  | Yang Duoying

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