ADOPTING THE CIRCULAR DESIGN GUIDE

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Published in Climate Action & WDCD by

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation teamed up with IDEO to produce the Circular Design Guide. This guide encourages designers to adopt the principles of a circular economy and implement them in their work. In this activation session at WDCD Live 2017, participants had an opportunity to discover the potential of circularity.

BEND LINES INTO CIRCLES

Our modern industrial economy is organized in a linear manner. We dig stuff out of the ground, use it to make products, then throw them away. The circular economy invites us to take this line and bend it to form a circle.

In other words, the stuff we use to create value for consumers should not create waste. It should continue to be used, or its materials and components reused. Needless to say, the shift from a linear to a circular economy calls for a fundamental change in attitude and working methods among designers.

Moderators Jop Japenga and Jan Belon of the agency Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken introduced the session, explained the exercises to participants and chaired the closing discussion. Emma Fromberg of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Arianne Orillac of IDEO were on hand to offer expert advice on the basic principles.

KICKSTART, DEFINE, IMPLEMENT

Participants organized themselves into three ‘discussion tables’ to examine ways to adopt circular thinking in case studies of their own choosing. The ‘Kickstart’ group considered what designers need to get a project off the ground. The ‘Define’ group discussed the importance or otherwise of a name for a project or service. The ‘Implement’ group reflected on the obstacles in businesses and how to overcome them.

Groups were invited to choose a product and develop a rationale for improving it and making it circular. They were also asked to consider how it improves user experience, and what feedback or data they would need to refine the idea.

One group explored the benefits of customizing shoe soles to fit feet perfectly, another sought ways to reduce food packaging waste, and the third group came up with a proposal for a reusable set design under the working title Plug and Play: Broadway Style.

Ideas aplenty, and all less linear and more circular.

Top photo by Leo Veger

ADOPTING THE CIRCULAR DESIGN GUIDE was one of three BNO CIRCLE SESSIONS at WDCD Live Amsterdam 2017.
With these sessions, BNO addresses the important role of the designer in working towards a sustainable and future-proof world.

 

Emma Fromberg speaking during the session (photo Leo Veger)

Emma Fromberg speaking during the session (photo Leo Veger)

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