THE ROLE OF DESIGN
The design has always been about exploring the ambiguous and learning by doing, so the methods on this site are biased towards action. They will guide you as you take your first steps into building a new future.
We don’t have the answers about the future: no one does. But we hope this guide helps you reframe your mindset, ask the right questions, take on projects, and start exploring extraordinary possibilities.
Design For Users, Stakeholders, And The Systems
Traditional manufacturing is wasteful because it focuses exclusively on the end-user. The circular economy mindset looks much wider, to consider everyone who extracts, builds, uses and disposes of things.
By zooming out from users, to consider the wider network of stakeholders, we can unlock value at every stage of the process. As a designer, that includes building feedback loops into your work; knowing the life cycle of materials you use; collaborating with other industry stakeholders, and considering unintended consequences.
Widen your view of user-centredness | When designing for the circular economy, it’s about researching and understanding the needs of all users or usages of the materials within the system.
Reimagine viability | In the circular economy, growing your slice of the pie may mean growing the pie. Designing reusable materials will create new value by enabling your own, as well as other businesses, to reuse those materials.
Design for evolution | We used to design ‘finished’ products. Now, we should think of everything we design like software – products and services that can constantly evolve, based on the data we get through feedback. Design is never done.
Build a strong narrative | In the circular economy, designers more than ever, have to change the mindsets of those around them. By developing compelling stories and proof-of-concept, we can widen our sphere of influence.
Creating value for every player in your wider ecosystem will help that system thrive in the long term. Nurturing the people (think users, employees, or partners) and natural systems that directly draw from or support your organization can be a source of growth, creativity, and innovation. For example, creating a local production network provides economic support to your surrounding area, which could in turn give the community the wealth and ability to buy your product or service.