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Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven

Service Design; Earth Centered Design

Mossy is a biodegradable diaper, made with natural, local materials, native to Friesland area, the Netherlands. The entire value chain is designed to foster social innovation in the region and support sustainable agricultural practices such as paludiculture. The success of the product is strongly related to the service, that needs to support the users, ensuring that the diapers end in the composting plant. 

Role  —  Service Designer

Research; Service Design, Systems Thinking; Design Thinking; Focus Group planning + facilitation; Graphic Design

The problem

Disposable diapers produce a massive amount of non-recyclable landfill waste that poses a threat to the environment. They contain multiple harmful chemicals but remain cheaper, more widely available, and convenient than the environmentally friendly alternatives such as biodegradable diapers.

The context

The Friesland region is rich in natural materials with high absorption properties, which can be sustainably cultivated by local farmers. At the same time, the Dutch population is becoming more and more environmentally conscious and the market for sustainable products is growing.

Key methods

During the process I applied a mix of diverse methodologies from Service Design, Design Thinking, Systems Thinking, to Product Development. The methods presented below were crucial for understanding the problem both on a human level but also from an earth-centred perspective.

Workshop (Parents of infants)

The goal of the workshop was to dig deep into the believes and motivations of the target group. Each person was asked to bring a favourite piece of baby clothing to the meeting, and we started from a warmup activity; “Please describe why you have chosen that particular piece”. Participants got encouraged to share their feelings, which allowed me to learn about their values and motivations naturally. Some of the insights included environmental awareness, cultural aspects of raising a child, or local legislation that makes biodegradable products more financially beneficial.

Focus group (Parents of infants)

The goal was to test the concept, observe the reactions and interactions of the potential customers with the product, and to understand the concerns related to the biodegradable aspect of the product, as well as the alternative materials that it was made of.

System Map

Mapping interactions across channels and touchpoints; finding the connections; defining the complexity of the problem 

Experience Mapping

What is the most; rewarding, challenging, troublesome, and trust requiring part of the service? 


1. Behavioural Change; compensating for the inconveniences related to the use of alternative diapers
 2. Introduction of a service that is less convenient but more environmentally friendly 

1. Behavioural Change; Potential changes that can last for generations
2. Social Change; building a community around responsible consumerism, paludiculture, and Earth Centered Design

Value Chain 

To gain a more hollistic overview of the project I analysed the entire value chain, starting from the local farmers (producers of the natural materials), through transport, and key partners such as kindergardens to the end user journey, helped gain a hollistic overview of the project.

Photo credit Simona Mancusi