Alumnus Casper Van Herzele wins a Henry van de Velde Award

(14-11-2023) Casper wins with his thesis project Nanto in the Design Research category. Whether he goes home with a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award he will find out on 23 January.

You can also help Casper win the public award by voting for him for a Public Gold Award on the Henry van de Velde Awards website until 15 December.

The clothing industry is responsible for about 10% of global CO2 emissions. Moreover, only 1% of clothing materials are recycled at high quality. In recent legislative proposals, the European Commission proposes to give garments a unique code: a digital product passport. Casper, an industrial design engineer, therefore developed Nanto Secure: a tag with digital data that can be seamlessly inserted into clothing.

From bill to tangible product

"I applied a design thinking method to analyse complex issues and find solutions," explains Casper. "I completely dissected the core question, came up with different concepts, created several prototypes and gathered feedback and input from clothing producers, consumers, second-hand shops, clothing rental services, experts in circular economy, hardware development and eco-design."

Casper repeated that process until he arrived at his final concept: Nanto Secure. "It's a small NFC tag. That stands for Near Field Communication. That means that the product info on the tag can easily be read by a smartphone, for example. So you immediately know where your garment came from, what it was made of and how to repair it. That info promotes a closed materials cycle, because thanks to the tag, the data is preserved throughout the life cycle of the garment."

The icing on the cake

How Casper got from the university to the podium of our country's leading design awards appears to be a combination of hard work and passion. "After secondary school, I was looking for an education that managed to combine my interest in sciences with creativity, sustainability and innovation. That's why I opted for the course Industrial Engineer: Industrial Design at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture campus Kortrijk. There, I learned to develop products, services and systems from idea to realisation. That holistic and systems-oriented approach was essential to conduct my research."

"Winning a Henry van de Velde Award marks the brilliant highlight of my years of study. It is not just an award; it is the icing on the cake at the end of my engineering studies. The fact that the jury believes in this project and wants to honour it within the Design Research category feels like an invaluable recognition to me."

About the Henry van de Velde Awards

The Henry van de Velde Awards showcase and honour Flemish designers, companies, products, projects, services and systems that, thanks to the clever use of design, have a positive impact on society, the environment and the economy.

The organisation presents annual design awards in various categories. Casper wins in the Design Research category. He also has a chance of winning the audience award. You can vote for him on the Henry van de Velde Awards website until 15 December.