Thinking about circular design
Circular design aims to bring about three major changes in how we live. The winning award entries will give consideration to all of these.
Economy: from linear to circular
Ever since the industrial revolution, we’ve had a linear economy arranged in order of mass production, mass consumption, and mass disposal. The circular economy is a radical rethink aimed at reducing our environmental impact. It means using technology to boost recycling and efficiency. It means joining the processes of production, consumption and disposal to close loops for a more effective system. Circular design asks the question: how can we make our entire society sustainable by rethinking the relationships between products, services, and society itself?
Design point 1: how does your idea or project remodel our economic system?
Society: from consumption to regeneration
A circular economy calls for a change in social values. For example, how do we define a “good” company in a circular society? Most likely, it will have chosen to break with an established business model by shifting its main activity from consumption to regeneration. That changes our own ideas about where we want to work, or what kind of company or project we’d like to start in future. Circular design means thinking about changing values and systems as our society shifts to a regenerative model.
Design point 2: how does your idea or project anticipate changes in society?
Industry: from closed to open
While social participation is crucial, a circular economy also depends greatly on infrastructure put in place by forward-thinking companies. For these grand designs to work, we need to replace traditional “closed” innovation, which prioritizes industrial secrets and corporate self-interest, with collaborative “open” innovation that welcomes other companies as partners in the ideation and development process. Circular design can only reach its full potential when open innovation becomes the norm.
Design point 3: how does your idea or project interact with industry?