What is circular design? Questions to test and inspire yourself at work and at home.

What is circular design? It is taking into account the full life cycle of an object or service to ensure all “waste” is removed and instead is value. It is a self-feeding holistic system and can be certainly used in business but also in our reflections when we buy/consume at home.

Here are some notes from a recent training I did in it, specifically, circular design thinking. Thank you Klap.io and trainers Mélanie, France, Thibaud, Vincent & my team collaborators.

Here Mélanie explains, in order of importance, some tactics & inspirations for creating more resource respectful products.

1. Can we reduce usage of a resource (including energy & materials)? Or even cut out an entire product?!
2. Are we ensuring that the product is reparable? Or can we repair something existing, eliminating new need?
3. Can we reuse something already existing? Or use one item/resource for multiple uses? Or without changing it’s form when no longer “usable” for one function can it be used elsewhere, prolonging its value & our assets?
4. Upcycle or Refabricate: Can it be slightly modified for another use?
5. Recycle – Are we ensuring as a last case scenario the product or the bi-products created can be recycled for reuse in new items?

Design Thinking… but circular? What is the difference?

For those who already know design thinking, Circular Design Thinking is quite similar but with more parameters to test and inspire from. It is also an often more longer process as you drill down and test the product versus various needs in the “system”. In my opinion, it makes Design Thinking even more robust and realistic as it respects real constraints and even uses them as a source of inspiration (constraints in the end can also liberate your creative juices). It’s edict:

No waste… only food/value!

Also one big difference is the principal “persona.” Circular Design thinking is not just looking at the “persona” or client’s problem but putting the Planet and Society as a whole at the heart of the problem solving. Our starting and principle persona: a planet with limited resources to be used wisely to the benefit of all.

And you?

Anyone else I know who does circular design and circular design thinking or want to learn it? Can you see using these questions in your personal life?