THE URBAN MINING PROJECT
Who We Are and What We Do
About our partner
The Urban Mining Company (UMC) have transformed the way we extract the rare metals used to produce cutting-edge magnets that enable modern technology. Texas based, they recycle metals from old electronics and were recognised by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for establishing a Circular Economy.
The UMC wanted an explainer video highlighting their alternative approach to the production of Neodymium magnets. They wanted to create awareness and a call to action around the recycling of electronics in the public, also reaching potential investors. Our challenge was to show how important magnets have been and are to our civilisation, highlighting the large amounts we waste and the missed recycling opportunities.
Our film emphasises the role magnets have played throughout our history, and the essential role they continue to play. Explaining the environmentally harmful process of mining rare metals, it shows the massive amount of technology thrown away. Calling for more recycling of electronics, the UMC explain how they recycle and rebuild magnets in a better and more sustainable way.
Using a compass as a set piece, visuals contrasted the destructive way rare earth metals are mined with the UMC’s revolutionary recycling and rebuilding process. Visual metaphors such as ships, MRI scanners and space shuttles augmented these -underpinning the way magnets are an essential part in our most powerful technology. Combined they delivered the UMC’s call to action and message to the public in a thought provoking way.
Find out more about the recycling and production technologies used by the UMC here.
We had the honour of creating a mural for the Rawthmells Coffeehouse, the RSA’s 21st century enlightenment coffeehouse in London. The mural documents the rich history of the RSA.
Translating the work of Professor Stephen Hawking into whiteboard explainer films has been one of our greatest challenges. On two occasions we have been lucky enough to turn the theories of this great man into films.
Working with Urban Mining Company we created an explainer film that highlights the the amount of electronic waste we create, and the way the Urban Mining Company are recycling this into the technology that drives us forward.
EEF asked us to create an explainer film that challenged misconceptions about the UK manufacturing industry, while also calling on the UK public to discuss and submit ideas about how to boost the sector even further.
The North American Forest Partnership asked us to supercharge their story. We created a whiteboard animation explainer film to help them bring forests into our future cities and prompt debate.
Oxford Brookes University asked us to create an explainer video about their I.T strategy. They have created a strategy with strong foundations and an eye on innovation to empower staff and students to be the best they can be.
We made two films for sports psychologist Damian Hughes and Pan Macmillan for Damian’s new book The Barcelona Way. In the book, Damian reveals the key principles that have defined FC Barcelona’s success showing how the DNA of a winning team can be successfully applied to any working environment, with dramatic results.
Sleep isn’t a choice, it is a basic need and part of living a long and healthy life. Professor Matthew Walker explains the grave consequences of not getting enough sleep in this RSA Minimate.
Canongate Books commissioned us to make a few short films and illustrations for Dan Pink’ s new book ‘When: the scientific secrets of perfect timing’
Octopus Communities are a network of community centres that have been connecting communities for 20 years. We created an explainer film about them and their work using our whiteboard style for their members and funders.