Abstract

Much of the discussion regarding product circularity is framed from a production and business perspective. This paper argues that the current narrative needs to be complemented with a re-framing of circularity from a user perspective and that issues of consumption should be considered in more depth. Such a re-framing is proposed based on an exploration of the consumption process and a discussion regarding what different paths of consumption may entail for people. The paper also delves into the process of product exchange between multiple users over time. It underlines that products can be designed so that they can be transferred in tight loops from one user to another, i.e. from Use2Use, which typically entails environmental advantages in relation to circular production initiatives. Overall, such a perspective suggests an enabling approach, i.e. designing products and services that create preconditions that enable people to circulate products. New opportunities for supporting product circularity from a design perspective are suggested followed by recommendations for future work.

Keywords:

product circularity; circular product design; sustainable consumption; circular economy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Re-framing Product Circularity from a User Perspective

Much of the discussion regarding product circularity is framed from a production and business perspective. This paper argues that the current narrative needs to be complemented with a re-framing of circularity from a user perspective and that issues of consumption should be considered in more depth. Such a re-framing is proposed based on an exploration of the consumption process and a discussion regarding what different paths of consumption may entail for people. The paper also delves into the process of product exchange between multiple users over time. It underlines that products can be designed so that they can be transferred in tight loops from one user to another, i.e. from Use2Use, which typically entails environmental advantages in relation to circular production initiatives. Overall, such a perspective suggests an enabling approach, i.e. designing products and services that create preconditions that enable people to circulate products. New opportunities for supporting product circularity from a design perspective are suggested followed by recommendations for future work.

 

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