Founder, Agence designContext EURL
Tom Snow (1978-2022) was a systemic designer, researcher and educator who was committed to finding elegant, multi-disciplinary solutions to the most pressing problem of our generation – the regeneration of our planet and our sovereignty as individuals and as a community.
In 2015 Tom founded Agence designContext EURL, a regenerative systemic design collective, because he believed that designers have, in his own words, “a wide array of potential strategies and methods at their disposal to support the regeneration of our planet.”
The changing physical and political landscape of the world, and Tom’s personal journey of discovery, drew his interest towards subjects like the Blue Economy, agroecology, permaculture, biology, soil-food-web, history, regenerative design, and holistic and critical thinking. Over time, Tom put his skills, knowledge, learning, and methodological development into a regenerative systemic design proposal for our planet, which formed the basis of his work and the underlying rationale for this collective.
Tom had 20 years of experience as a consultant, technical industrial designer and project manager, working in a range of industries at various scales and in different countries. He thrived working with all types of specialists, engineers, policy-makers and students, and was exceptionally skilled at interdisciplinary translation, and bridging the understanding between them and lay-persons.
His work at designContext included supporting design, development, production projects across Europe on circularity and regeneration, for example;
- he was at the origin of the first regional remanufacturing initiative in the Basque Country, Reman Gipuzkoa, working with RevalueSystems;
- he supported he supported circular and regenerative initiatives like DYCLE diaper cycle team in Germany, with materials and technology research;
- he supported Biook.org, a non-for-profit organization based in Bilbao Spain that promotes scientific culture and social innovation through open science Tom brought to Biook a unique and meaningful systemic approach to the design of a citylab, a community biolab and a centre for arts, science, technology and humanities;
- from 2020, he developed and taught a series of courses in Corporate Societal Responsibility, Critical Thinking, and Circular Economy for students at various universities in England, France and Netherlands.
His valuable educational materials became his tool to transmit all his knowledge on earth science and ecosystems, planetary boundaries awareness, ethical and legal frameworks that all encouraged regeneration. This provided a knowledge base from which to design integrated, productive, regenerative and social solutions based on an ecological understanding, inspired by living systems working in harmony with life’s processes.
Tom respected life in every form and put it at the centre of his works and aims. His research and methodologies are focused on mindful holistic design for thoughtful decision-making based on a deep understanding of, and appreciation for, life and living systems. His purpose was to facilitate a broader vision that would enable humans to live, create and produce in harmony with the processes of life in all its forms and expressions.
In Tom’s words;
“… ecological design also includes the ‘careful meshing of human purposes with the larger patterns and flows of the natural world’. At the socio-economic level, we also need our institutions, such as governing, financial, educational and health systems, to be congruent with living systems—including the ‘rules’, such as how value is distributed (including equity and justice), how we organize ownership and ourselves into collaborative groups and how we practice ‘ecocentric’ (earth-centred) values and systems of power.”
Tom was a dear friend, colleague, son, brother and uncle. He was kind, thoughtful, enthusiastic and empathetic with a gift for helping people empower themselves to find their own answers according to their needs, capacities and essence. His smile and laughter lit up the room, and he had wisdom, integrity, and values which were much treasured by those who knew and loved him.
To read more about Tom’s life and achievements, click here.
To read Tom’s CV, click here.