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‘Wastology’ – kitchen gadget to fight food waste – won the challenge launched by Eni 

Energy company Eni picks DIDI recycling project for Expo 2020 Dubai Italian Pavilion


Students from the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), the region’s only university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation, have been selected by global energy company Eni to showcase their circular economy concept, Wastology, at the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The opportunity comes as part of a workshop led by Eni, inviting students from the institute to present original ideas for the recycling of Eni’s installation at Expo 2020 Dubai, Italian Pavilion.

Four teams from DIDI took part in the four-day Braiding the Future workshop and were tasked with proposing concepts to raise awareness about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The jury assessed the proposals on five indicators: originality, potential impact, feasibility, prototype, and communication impact.

Wastology, the winning idea, allows food waste to be reused at home to grow and nourish indoor plants. It raises awareness of circular economy initiatives and impressed a panel of judges that included Eni and Carlo Ratti Associati.

Wastology: 1 concept, 3 options, a close loop

With one-third of the world’s food lost or wasted every year[1], DIDI students Sana Mohamed, Kaya Tueni and Dalilah Mansour proposed a kitchen gadget that turns household trash into compost treasure.

An intelligent product that allows the user to repurpose organic, domestic waste by composting it in the comfort of their kitchen, Wastology fight the impact of food waste: the compost that the user ends up with is then used to nurture the plants placed on top of the  product.

[1] FAO:   

Powered by Arduino, Wastology is also an app for real-time monitoring the health of the compost but also to access educational content, engage in “home-growth challenge” with other users, share information and suggestions.


The ‘Braiding the Future’ original challenge

Wastology reinvents a microalgae cultivation system made of a cascade of 20-meters long LED vines suspended above water. Inside them the microalgae grow producing nutritional compounds giving social, economic and environmental benefits. The installation in fact gives an artistic interpretation of the intensified CO2 biofixation process that was developed in Eni Research Centers.  

Image Credit: Eni at Expo2020

Wastology at the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Wastology will be officially presented on Friday November 12th at the Italian Pavilion in the ‘ Braiding the Future’ final event, at 5.00pm (CET). You may follow it live on 

The prototype will be then displayed in the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, where Eni’s installation represents a commitment towards sustainable energy transition.

A physical prototype of Wastology had already been presented at Maker Faire Rome 2021 – The European Edition, last October 8-10, in line with its commitment towards sustainability as a lever for development and growth. 


In fact, since its very first edition back in 2013, Maker Faire Rome – Europe largest bottom-up and open innovation event – has been strongly promoting the centrality of design and creativity for the transformation of society and for supporting the Sustainable Development goals of Agenda 2030.

Maker Faire Rome had also acted as liaison between Eni and DIDI and help conceptualizing the workshop and its format.

Design education & Circular Economy

Mohammad Abdullah, President of DIDI, said: “Using design and innovation to create a cleaner, greener future is an important part of our curriculum and wider efforts to prepare young people for the future of work. We were delighted to partner with Eni and Carlo Ratti Associati on the “Braiding the Future” workshop. It was an opportunity for students to demonstrate how complex problem solving, creativity and critical thinking can be used to create scalable products that promote a transition to a circular economy. We are extremely excited about the ingenuous Wastology project. It is a testament to the quality education our faculty provides and demonstrates why Dubai is becoming a world-class hub for higher education.”

Kaya Tueni, a foundation student at DIDI said: “I took part in this competition to get out of my comfort zone and see how well I could work under that much pressure. I knew from the start that no matter what the outcome of the competition would be, I would learn valuable skills beneficial for my future.”

Sana Mohamed, Product Design and Strategic Management undergraduate explained: “Brading the Future” was a rewarding experience. I am delighted that Wastology will be displayed in the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. I would like to thank Eni, DIDI and the faculty for showing us how design and innovation can be used for the good of humanity”.

About Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation

DIDI was established to address the growing need for talented designers and innovators in the UAE and beyond. The curriculum was created in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design and instils students with the confidence to take risks, push boundaries and challenge ways of thinking, making and co-creating.


Curious to get to know more about Wastology, Eni, the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai? Then follow us live on November 12th at 5.00pm. All info about the event here >


Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition has been committed since eight editions to make innovation accessible and usable to all, with the aim of not leaving anyone behind. Its blog is always updated and full of opportunities and inspiration for makers, makers, startups, SMEs and all the curious ones who wish to enrich their knowledge and expand their business, in Italy and abroad.

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