How might we develop a sustainable service system that enables CERN as well as potential industries to leverage the UN’s sustainable development goals to address the biggest Microplastic pollution issue in the environment facing us today?   

Partnering with CERN in Geneva, the birthplace of the World Wide Web and the Large Hadron Collider to examine how service design can address the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using the most exciting technologies to emerge from the most respected centres for scientific research. 


Our challenge was seeking to develop the future innovative service proposition that enables disruptive technologies from CERN and collaborate with the potential industries like fashion industries to leverage the UN's sustainable development goals to transform address the biggest issue of Microplastic facing us and the whole environment today while doing so in a way that is economically and socially sustainable. About the big move of the project, Corallo not only has found the design interventions in the public sector but also utilise Behaviour change theory to raise the awareness of customers. 









Role / 

My duties were to define the research plan, conduct qualitative interviews with users and key stakeholders, create the research material, synthesize the data gathered in the field, uncover key insights and opportunities areas and eventually design digital service prototypes and their business models. 

Client / 



Partners / 

Mattia Gobbo

Minwoo Kim


Year / 


Keywords / 

Sustainable design, emerging technology application, System design 


We worked on the project by double diamond method during the research phase,  we defined a sustainable design opportunity based on insights uncovered in a benchmark study, user researches, expert interviews and technology trend analysis. Our team and several brilliant scientists from CERN did work hand in glove for this project. It created a precedent to transfer and apply design thinking knowledge to the world leading scientific research centres.



In order to validate the design proposition and test the concept, we created a  prototype video as low fidelity validation material and invited expert and potential clients from potential industries and technology side to have a testing with quick interview individually. Afer these sessions we were able to depict the whole comprehensive system map and user journey and iterate the value propositions.




@ The Guardian, 2017

Research Insights and Highlights

current user journey map
  • Microplastics are the tiny pieces of the plastic particles existing in our surroundings, and the size definition is less than 5 mm in diameter. Therefore, it's hard to be aware of for people and it still unable to enter the current plastic recycling system.


  • Microplastics come from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes and they get into the ocean every year and even passes the food chain to damage our health. It would be a big trouble since these tiny plastics do not be decomposed for many years and also realise toxins attached to it as wildlife can be harmed by eating the plastic.



  • Wastewater treatment plate is the end of the journey of microplastics, this is, it's the significant point sources discharging microplastics particles and fibres to the environment. It is also detected in the sewage sludge to contaminate the landfills.



  • Over 98% of collected microplastics  ( including microfibres, polyester, polyethene etc.) can be recycled to fashion industries. Therefore, the fashion industries are of extraordinary interest in joining the business as they can benefit from it to get a reusable material and gain the corporate social responsibility(CSR) and brand image as well.







The definition of microplastic
Current ecosystem of microplastics

Design Opportunity

How might we create a technology-based service system to bridge the needs of the fashion industry and public sector in order to fully close the loop of the microplastic recycling circle?  

Design Solution

Watch the video to understand how does Corallo work

Corallo is a brand new recycling system service which aims to create a restorative cycle that minimises the harmful influence of the microplastics on the environment, on the health of human beings and other creatures, thanks to fashion industries and public sectors like wastewater treatment plate which collaborate and innovate towards a new circular economy of microplastics.



The service system allows microplastics to be collected in the wastewater treatment plant and then be contributed to the fashion industry for manufacturing new products by using the emerging technology from CERN as the collected microplastics are suitable to produce the main material of garments with recycled microplastics system. Furthermore, by reconnecting the product line to fashion industries, it can arouse the customer's awareness and improve their engagemnet of environmental protection.





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System map of Corallo

What kind of social impact bring in this topic?



Corallo believes the sustainable system service can scale the business potential. Also, from the research, we pointed out that If we return 10% of the microplastics from the wastewater treatment plant in Europe and North America, it contributes 26.8 million pounds of microplastics to fashion industry every year. It makes the micro-movements have macro-impacts for the whole environment. 



Re-shaping the plastic recycling system and trying to creating business value for sustainable service design. Corallo fully closes the loop of the circular system for the fashion industry and public sector. There are plenty of reports and evidence show the fashion brand like H&M, Adidas, Patagonia and G-Star RAW already start to recycle plastic waste as a new material for their products. For example, the H&M Conscious Exclusive has partnered with The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel to develop technologies to recycle clothes made from textile blends into new clothes. It strongly proves that Corallo is an on-trend, ethical system service.



The impact of Corallo for the society, economy and environment


The main learnings of this project were the following:

Selling the service vision to potential users helps to shape the value proposition and the final service experience at feature level.

Planning from the beginning the type of collaboration and involvement of the client in the different stages of the project helped considerably to achieve the expected results and the feeling of ownership by the client.

On the other hand, an agile process could have provided faster user feedback and product iterations during the project. Nevertheless, this depends also on the client willingness to brin


Also, it's the first movement of world-class for RCA and service designer like us, 



and new propositions that can inspire the world’s most innovative companies.




work with their hub of innovation and their knowledge transfer team IdeaSquare to apply design thinking and more specifically service design techniques to create new propositions that can inspire the world’s most innovative companies and interested governments and the third sector to exploit groundbreaking technologies to deliver impactful solutions.


Project Evidences