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 the extraordinary possibilities.
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.
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.
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.
The Circular Design Guide is a collaboration between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO. To give your feedback, email us directly or join our linkedin group.
Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2017, 2018