Born in the Netherlands in 1988, Dave Hakkens began thinking about how to use resources sustainably, avoid electronic waste, and recycle plastic while being a student at the Design Academy in Eindhoven.
For his final master’s project, he disassembled electronic devices to consider how they could be improved. This ultimately resulted in his idea for Phonebloks.
Hakkens is interested in doing things better anyway, especially when the end goal is to make a positive impact on the world. After completing his studies, he initially focused on his Precious Plastic project, in which plastic waste is molded to make new objects of use and value (hence the “precious”). Over the years Hakkens has established a large global community he affectionately calls his “online army.” They support his projects, which aim to protect the environment through intelligent design.