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Global Innovation Design (MA)

Romy Snijders

I am a Dutch multidisciplinary designer. My work combines design, art, science, engineering and culture. I am passionate about challenging people’s understanding of the world to shape a positive future. 


• MA/MSc Global Innovation Design, Royal College of Art & Imperial College London

• BSc Industrial Design, Delft University of Technology


Before studying Global Innovation Design I worked as a designer and creative facilitator. My experience includes working at In4Art in Rotterdam as a designer and art exhibition architect (internship). At Stand Out Now I worked as a creative facilitator, where I designed creative workshops, organised events and did visual strategy to kickstart innovation for larger companies or institutions in the Netherlands. In Peru, I worked as a designer, together with two other students, on a project about plastic waste in collaboration with L.O.O.P (Life Out Of Plastic) (Peru) and The Better Future Factory (Rotterdam). This was part of the minor international entrepreneurship & development.

Recognition & Exhibitions

• 2020 DE Summer Show, Dyson School of Engineering, Imperial College London

• 2020 Work In Progress Show, Royal College of Art & Imperial College London

• 2018 Scholarship (Cultuurfondsbeurs), Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

• 2018 Dove hackathon 2nd Place, London

• 2017 Scholarship, Stichting de Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude




Project Instagram


Meet me over (a virtual) coffee!

Degree Details

School of Design

Global Innovation Design (MA)

I use design to re-story the relationship between humans and the rest of nature. In the Anthropocene we need to change our concept of nature; Living in nature instead of on top of nature. Design is a powerful tool to change perceptions, to provide different understandings of reality. I want to use and facilitate the use of this tool to work towards a better future. The value of design should not be measured by market value but by the impact it has on the planet and all living beings. I believe in more than human design.

Through exploration and collaboration with different experts I combine many disciplines to have a very holistic approach to design. This allows me to work on the very complex and wicked problems we face today.

For thoughts, questions, collaborations or just a chat, please don't hesitate to contact me! I would love to meet you.


Symbiotic Futures | A short film
Our current geological age, the Anthropocene, is defined by us humans having a dominant impact on the climate and the environment. The disconnection of humans and the rest of nature is an essential part contributing to our planet’s destruction. This disconnection has to do with the concept we have of nature. The concept of nature is not objective or neutral. It is socially constructed, a specific cultural model and thus different across cultures.

If stories of human exceptionalism brought us to where we are today, might stories about living in symbiosis with nature bring us to a better future?
AnthropoceneArt and ScienceClimate CrisisDesign ResearchForestsFutureMore-Than-Human DesignMulti-Species DesignNatureSpeculative DesignStorytellingSustainability

In the forest — This forester is exploring the language of trees through fungi.

Tool #1 — See which trees are connected

Tool #2 — Listen to the soundscape that represents the communication between trees

This project explores one of those stories by using speculative design. Symbiotic futures is a vision of the future in which we explore the language of trees through fungi and live in symbiosis with the forest. We know that trees communicate with each other through a network of mycorrhizal fungi. The designed tools would allow us to listen to this communication and see which trees are connected. Insight in the communication between trees can help us protect the forest and improve environmental health.

The main exploration in the forest includes:
1. Which trees are communicating?
2. What are they communicating?
3. What does that mean?

Tool #1 Is attached to trees. Through different points on the tree, the tool traces the incoming and outgoing communication of the tree. It shows which trees are connected and whether the tree is sending or receiving information.

Tool #2 is plugged into the mycorrhizal mycelium hotspot that is connected to the trees that are communicating. The detected signals are transformed into a soundscape that can be heard and recorded.

The Netherlands 2035 — Living in nature

Forester — In forest with tools

The Netherlands 2035 We understand the world in a different way. Through exploring the language of nature, we know more about the complex relationships that form the ecosystems we are part of. We are re-growing nature to reduce the consequences of the climate crisis. Foresters play an essential role in collecting data and improving our environmental health.

Foresters: People who care for, look after, and protect the forest. In the interest of the forest. The forester does everything possible to understand and communicate with the forest in order to educate and inform society.

Science | Mycelial Network — Trees communicate with each other through mycorrhizal fungi

Science | Hypha — Fungi can pass resources and signalling molecules between trees

Experiment | Mycelium — Visualising the transfer of nutrients through mycelium

Experiment | Plant + Mycelium — The creation of symbiotic association

Immersion in Nature | Finding Fungi

Immersion in Nature | Forest

Immersion in Nature | Roots

Immersion in Nature | Mushrooms

Immersion in Nature | Listening

Immersion in Nature | Explore

Trees communicate with each other through mycorrhizal fungi. Fungi have networks of long threads hidden underneath the soil called mycelium. These networks form the internet of the forest. Through these networks, fungi can pass resources and signalling molecules between trees. The trees provide the fungi with 1/3 of its carbon and fungi give the trees the nutrients they need such as phosphorus and nitrogen. One tree can be connected to many other trees and can for example warn neighbouring trees about an aphid attack. Looking at the relation and communication between trees and fungi can provide information that can be used as a bioindicator. For example, the amount of species of mycorrhizal fungi connected to one tree can tell something about the level of pollution in the forest.

Design experiment: Immersion in nature. Answers to the following questions were found through ethnographic research. Is it possible to listen to trees? How can we see fungi? We can find mushrooms the fruiting body, but can we also find the mycelium? This informed the story of future and what is possible today.

Initial experiments were executed with the aim to show the transfer of nutrients through mycelium and the creation of symbiotic association.
Launch Project


30 July 2020
15:00 (GMT + 0)

GID Graduates Present: Humanising Technology x More than Human Design

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