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Emese Pancsa

Emese Pancsa

“You don't know your limits until you go and find out’’

Emese Pancsa, a student in product design wants to help others and give something back to the community through design. She is currently studying in Holland under the auspices of the EU’s Campus Mundi programme, where she is working on her Smartbin project.

By coming here my perimeter did not expand, instead I realised that it doesn't exist.
Emese Pancsa,
When did you first encounter European Union programmes?

“My first project was interactive furniture called TEMPO, which is like an exercise bike, but you can also create your own music with it. This is a playful development tool that enhances both your physical and mental health. Through TEMPO I was able to participate in a two-week EU Bikeability workshop in Poland in the spring of 2017. It was inspiring to work with students from different areas with varied art backgrounds. We held an introductory exhibition and also a huge biking event took place in Wroclaw, and it was at the professional exhibit there that I first held a presentation in English to a large audience. This was the most positive way possible for me to exit my comfort zone.”

You are currently studying in Holland through the Campus Mundi programme. How did you end up there?

“My MA programme at home was how design can be actively involved in the recycling process. The proportion of organic waste in a large bin is about 30-40%, which starts to rot once it reaches the dump. The methane that is released is 25 times more harmful than CO2 carbon dioxid. I studied the reasons why people do not compost – they find it to be too much trouble. So, I came up with the Smartbin. It grinds and mixes the waste. It can measure how much waste you have placed into it, for which you get points with an app.


I was first admitted to the Climate-KIC mentor programme with my Smartbin concept and then the workshop in Poland gave me the impetus to apply for an exchange programme. I am currently studying at the Minerva Art Academy at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, where I can further develop my projects.”

What are your first impressions?

“It was clear from the start that I would benefit a lot from this. We learned everything in English and had already visited a hemp factory during the second week, which was fantastic. The attitude there is that young people produce added value with their creativity, with which companies are able to maintain their competitiveness, so students are very welcome there. The factory also produces bio-plastic from hemp and they have their own injection moulding plant, which is perfect for me as I can incorporate it into my Smartbin project. I asked for suggestions on where to get the best raw materials for the inside of the bin and they offered to provide everything for me and support my experiments. We were able to use the R&D department any time and use their materials.”

What did you learn about yourself in Holland?

“I realised that since my time is limited, I must push the limits of my comfort zone as much as possible. At home there are limits, there is a perimeter and I thought of myself as someone who moves well within it. By coming here, on the other hand, my perimeter did not expand, instead I realised that it doesn't exist.”

Are you planning to participate in more EU programmes?

“I'm considering applying for a PhD in Holland. There is an ‘emotional design’ course at the Delft Technical University which explores how an object can have a positive effect on people’s lives. All of my projects fit this framework as this is my basic motivation as well. As part of the Campus Mundi programme I also agreed to do knowledge sharing, which I have experience in, having worked at the Budapest Metropolitan University’s open days. I recently also started a vlog with which I can transfer useful information to those students who are also considering exchange programmes. I can say for sure that you don't know your limits until you go and find out.”


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