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The next big thing in design is circular.


A new mindset for business is emerging. It’s worth around a trillion dollars, will drive innovation in tomorrow’s companies, and reshape every part of our lives. Design is key to the first principle of a circular economy, “design out waste and pollution.” The reality is that most things today are still designed for the linear model. This means that almost everything needs to be redesigned following the principles of the circular economy.

We Incorporate The Principles Of The Circular Economy Into Our Designs.

There is no single way to design a product or service that creates no waste and pollution or a business model that keeps products in use for years. The three principles of the circular economy do not dictate how they need to be achieved. Instead, they leave the door open to countless strategies and innovations.

That said, analysing successful case studies of circular design in practice illuminates specific strategies that appear to be more regularly successful than others.

We Reduce The Resource Requirements Of Our Designs.

This strategy is all about finding solutions to deliver utility using the minimum amount of material possible. This could mean finding ways to virtualise your offering, creating a digital rather than a physical product – services such as Spotify and Netflix being prime examples of this approach. It could also mean designing your product or service so that it requires only a minimal amount of physical material to create.

We Design Products That Last.

Extending a product’s life allows it to remain in use for as long as possible, one of the three core principles of a circular economy. This may involve designing products to be both physically and emotionally durable. It may require innovative approaches that allow the product to adapt to a user’s changing needs as time passes – as is the case in the two examples below.

Products that resist damage and wear, or retain their emotional appeal can be reused multiple times, potentially by many different users. In some cases, objects may become even more valuable through repair, as is the case in the Japanese art of Kintsugi.

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