Major Research Project
"Circular Design Toolkit
for Sustainable Futures"
A guide for responsible product design based on strategies and principles of a Circular Economy following a Design Thinking process.
The major contribution of consumerism and unsustainable mass production in the environmental crisis has been continuously debated over the years. Although there have been global agreements to cut environmental impact from companies, such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the pace of policy and regulation has been slow. Meanwhile, the depletion of natural resources and the ability of manufacturing companies to sustainably meet market demand has been exceeded.
To prevent irreparable damage and regain a healthy balance with the environment, researchers have pointed to a circular economy model, where products and materials are kept in circulation instead of going to waste. Considering the large impact of these industries, recent studies have looked at the early stages of product design for potential solutions, developing different theories, models and frameworks based in principles of a circular economy. However, few of these methods have been adopted, which is why this research aims to answer the question “how might we encourage designers to embrace circular design practices?”.
Believing designers play a fundamental role in the conceptual development of product that will become mass produced, it is necessary to provide designers with the tools and principles of sustainable design. Through a collection of research methods, including literature review, expert interviews and analysis of existing frameworks, this Major Research Project provides a conceptual toolkit for circular design that understands existing design process boundaries and can integrate circular strategies and decision-making tools that can be easily implemented by designers regardless of their knowledge around this topic.
Here is a quick summary of the work involved in this project in a visual deck I presented at the 2022 SFI Innovation Forum.
Link: [ Innovation Forum PDF Presentation ]
If the video becomes available, I will post it on this page.
The research publication can be found here:
Link: [ OCAD U Open Repository ]