Abstract

80 percent of the environmental impact of products and services is deter- mined in the design phase. Since the designer’s job takes place at the initial phase of any design process, designers are in a unique position to effect change in this area. Designers have knowledge of the supply chains and networks that drive, not only de- sign process, but also those that support the production and implementation of de- signs. It is therefore relevant to discuss how design can play a role in the transition towards Circular Economy. In this vein the research question as set for this conversa- tion asks: How might design contribute to a circular economy? Based on a former panel discussion at the IASDR conference, 2021, the conveners identified 10 tips for design practice in a CE. This DRS Conversation is centred discussions and activities around these ten tips, namely: Tip #1: Collaborate, Tip #2: Get Started, Tip #3: Create a Knowledge Network, Tip #4: Reduce resources and impact, Tip #5: Reuse resources, Tip #6: Allow for repair, Tip #7: Prepare for recycling, Tip #8: Make design that can be disassembled, Tip #9: Influence new business models, Tip #10: Know the context. In conclusion this conversation contributes to ‘designing for a circular economy’, with seven findings: 1) The tips can be divided into clusters; 2) collaboration is essential for designers to understand eco-system context; 3) R Hierarchy opens-up opportunity to design ‘off the grid’ and requires sequence clarification; 4) Increased understanding of CE transformation can raise designers' opportunity to influence business models; 5) In a CE transformation, design has opportunity to bridge societal and technical values of the eco-system; 6) Legislation changes context and increases opportunity to influence certain business models; 7) Building and sharing knowledge can support designers as advocates for change towards CE and sustainability.

Keywords

circular economy, sustainability, societal change, design practice, design pro- cess, design education

Creative Commons License

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

Conference Track

Conversations

COinS
 
Jun 25th, 9:00 AM

How might design contribute to a circular economy

80 percent of the environmental impact of products and services is deter- mined in the design phase. Since the designer’s job takes place at the initial phase of any design process, designers are in a unique position to effect change in this area. Designers have knowledge of the supply chains and networks that drive, not only de- sign process, but also those that support the production and implementation of de- signs. It is therefore relevant to discuss how design can play a role in the transition towards Circular Economy. In this vein the research question as set for this conversa- tion asks: How might design contribute to a circular economy? Based on a former panel discussion at the IASDR conference, 2021, the conveners identified 10 tips for design practice in a CE. This DRS Conversation is centred discussions and activities around these ten tips, namely: Tip #1: Collaborate, Tip #2: Get Started, Tip #3: Create a Knowledge Network, Tip #4: Reduce resources and impact, Tip #5: Reuse resources, Tip #6: Allow for repair, Tip #7: Prepare for recycling, Tip #8: Make design that can be disassembled, Tip #9: Influence new business models, Tip #10: Know the context. In conclusion this conversation contributes to ‘designing for a circular economy’, with seven findings: 1) The tips can be divided into clusters; 2) collaboration is essential for designers to understand eco-system context; 3) R Hierarchy opens-up opportunity to design ‘off the grid’ and requires sequence clarification; 4) Increased understanding of CE transformation can raise designers' opportunity to influence business models; 5) In a CE transformation, design has opportunity to bridge societal and technical values of the eco-system; 6) Legislation changes context and increases opportunity to influence certain business models; 7) Building and sharing knowledge can support designers as advocates for change towards CE and sustainability.

 

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