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What if you could design the future of carbon capture? - Open Design Call

“We're running the most dangerous experiment in history, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle.” Elon Musk.

Humans emit 40 billion tons of CO2/year. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is the highest in 2 million years. Rising from 280 ppm before the start of the industrial revolution to 420 ppm in 2022. And it just keeps rising. Global CO2 emissions need to be net zero by 2050. But even if we make it, the earth is warming up and keeps warming up. It’s not enough to reduce emissions, but we also need to remove emissions. There is no net zero, without the removal of carbon dioxide.

What if we could reverse time? What if we could capture carbon in a cheap, durable way and provide industries such as agriculture, aviation and construction with sustainable materials? 

We are Carbyon and we capture the sky.

Carbyon is a Direct Air Capture company using a unique fast-swing thin film technology to capture CO2 from the sky. Our solution is cheap, small and very easy to scale.

Customers are waiting to use the carbon dioxide we capture and use it in their industries to build and produce new sustainable materials in agriculture, aviation or construction or to store it permanently.

We have a strong and motivated team of ~ 43 highly motivated researchers, engineers
and managers working at the High Tech Campus is Eindhoven. Our people are coming from 12 different nationalities and an average team age of 36 years old.

Design question

Since carbon removal is the way towards a fully sustainable future, we would love young future designers to think about what Carbyon’s solution could look like when it’s placed in different locations around the world.

For our solution to work at scale, our “towers”  will have to be placed in many locations. Think about wind and solar parks, industrial sites, but also in spots close to cities and the countryside. The technology inside our “tower” is modular, but the outside is still fully customizable. 

We would love to get  4 “future concepts” of what the outside of our “structures” could look like. 

We need a rationale and visual mood boards of how your design comes to life. What philosophy is driving your design? Do they need to disappear in the landscape? Or do they need to become art objects in and by themselves? 

Beside the 4 concepts, moodboards and rationale, we would love 4x 3D models of the design, which will be shown at the Dutch Design Week at our dedicated Carbyon stand. A nice learning experience for you, your design studio and your career.

You can apply different methods to design the towers. You can use clay, 3D printing or other methods to bring your idea to life. At this stage in the process we would love to see where the designs of the “towers” could go, inspire people and get them talking about how our solution fits into the actual landscape.  Besides this we want to show that design is a powerful tool to drive the future of technology forward.

The realistic implementation and technical realisation is for phase 2. We have the intention to realise one of the designs as part of our pilot projects together with one of the designers. Our first development machines will be placed in Eindhoven, in Canada and beyond to inspire customers world-wide with our technology.

Who are we looking for?

We would like to select 4 graduate students or graduates with up to 3 years of work experience. As we are designing the future, we would like to do this with the next-generation designers and show them the opportunities of working with the technology industry! Enthusiasm and/or experience around sustainable solutions, modular systems, technology and 3d design is preferred. The Design Call gives you the opportunity to start with an idea and realize it yourself into 3D design, which might turn into a global future product.

Participants should demonstrate a deep understanding of circular design principles and innovative problem-solving. It’s important that the designers consider the socio-economic implications of their design and how using materials can positively impact communities and economies.

Designers with different skill sets and expertise can bring different insights and approaches. You can be for example an industrial designer, sustainable architect or urban designer. 

Ultimately, designers suited for this challenge want to contribute to a sustainable future, and show what design can do for the technological solutions of the future. They want to embrace emerging technology and bring change and beauty to the renewable energy sector.


  • Deadline open call - deadline: 12 July 2024 
    Register before 24:00
  • Kick-off day - 18th of July
    We will invite the selected designers to a briefing on July 18 for more technical details and creative requirements. After that, the designers will work independently to develop a concept. Interim meetings are scheduled with the Carbyon team to discuss progress and to check criteria, expectations and practical feasibility.
  • Debrief moment (online) - tbd
    We will organize a short meeting to recap the call and check if everyone has made a correct interpretation of the briefing. It is also an opportunity to ask questions about your choices.
  • 2D day - 28 August 2024
    During the 2D day, we will discuss your concept and your first sketches and ideas. We can provide feedback and together we can co-create the next stage of sketches. 
  • 3D day - 18 September 2024
    During the 3D day, we will discuss the first version of your 3D model. We will provide feedback and you have the opportunity to try out what works and what not. In advance, we will agree upon the scale of the models together with the group.
  • Expert meeting(s)
    If you are in need of more information or a deeper understanding of certain aspects of the product, you are free to schedule an expert meeting with one of our team members during the design process.
  • Final feedback day - 3 October 2024
    During the final feedback day, you will present your latest model and we can provide feedback that enables you to finalize your model before the DDW. During this day the designers also have to deliver their exhibition plan for the DDW so that the wishes can be taken into account. 
  • Exhibition during Dutch Design Week: 19-27 October 2024
    The concepts/ scenarios of the designers will be shown during DDW. Your concept & designs will be part of one big Carbyon exhibition and you are able to share your own vision at the stand during the entire Dutch Design Week.

Registration and procedure

Designers can register until 12th of July via this link. In the registration form, we ask for a reference of 3 to 5 relevant, previously completed projects or designs and your motivation for participating in this project in which you describe how the assignment suits you as a designer (design studio), what your motivation is to participate and where you see opportunities within the design question (max. 800 words).

After the application deadline, max. 10 designers/ design studios meeting the criteria will be invited for an introductory interview with Carbyon. After the interviews, a maximum of 4 designers/design studios will be selected to participate. Every designer/ design studio works individually on the design question. The selected designers will be notified on the 16th of July. The 'Terms and conditions’ of participation apply. This is automatically agreed upon upon registration. The conditions of participation can be found here. The working language of this call is English.

Critical design elements

Different design elements should be addressed in the final concept.
Designers should focus on the following key elements:

  • The concept encourages discussion on positive technology design
  • The concept takes relevant urban and environmental challenges into account
  • The concept is innovative and modular
  • The concept is suited for a large-scale
  • The concept can be realized with a low carbon footprint
  • The concept helps to explain the functioning of the technology
  • The concept is applicable in Dutch regions, and possibly also scalable to other regions
    in the world

The end results should include

  • A rationale explaining the philosophy and concept of your project
  • Concept drawings
  • Visualisations / renders
  • A small-scale 3D model (finished in method of your choice)

What’s in it for you? 

The maximum of four selected participants will each receive an amount of €2.500,- ex. VAT for participating in the Design Call and delivering the end results described above. 

As a result of the Design Call, you can participate and exhibit your design at the Dutch Design Week 2024. 

Carbyon will take care of the exhibition design and realization of the exhibition, including supporting materials such as screens and presentation furniture. Carbyon will set preconditions for the presentation, such as dimensions, etc. Designers are asked to give a presentation of their design during DDW during various events organized by Carbyon. 

During the Design Call, you will get the unique chance to collaborate with a high-tech startup and explore the field of technology development. As Carbyon has the intention to realize one of the designs at full scale, there is the opportunity for a follow-up assignment. 

Participation conditions / Intellectual property rights

Of the designs developed within the Design Call, the intellectual and copyright remain fully in the hands of the relevant design studio. Carbyon will receive a free exclusive right of use for commercial and non-commercial purposes for 3 (three) years, starting from Dutch Design Week 2024. This may be used after informing the relevant designer(s)/ design studio(s). Carbyon must also always ensure that your name is mentioned. The design will be shown in an exhibition during Dutch Design Week 2024. An extensive version of the conditions regarding Intellectual Property Rights can be found in the accompanying Terms and Conditions of Participation on the Design Call.

Background info

More info about Carbyon can be found on our website: 

Feel free to watch our video explaining what Carbyon does: Capture the Sky - Carbyon or our series Ask Carbyon to find answers on frequently asked questions: 


Do you have any follow-up questions, please contact Beatrix Bos,

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