There’s a trend building for 2018 that’s soon going to be part of the innovator’s landscape. It has the backing of major design thinkers and of social enterprise campaigners. Even if it hasn’t reached the mainstream or doesn’t sit on your radar yet – it will. The concept is Circular Design  “A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design” – and it can’t fail. Environmentally, the case for circular design is made and incontrovertible:

“A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design” – and it can’t fail. Environmentally, the case for circular design is made and incontrovertible:

  • Design out waste and pollution
  • Keep products and materials in use
  • Regenerate natural systems

From any perspective, how we design, manufacture, value and use materials and digital products is unsustainable. Circular design helps us all to change that. Digital? Yes, digital too. Do a bit of research into how much electricity and computing power cryptocurrencies consume and you’ll see what I mean.

Similarly, the costs of data storage and processing mobile communications will come under scrutiny. If you thought writing an e-mail was less resource-hungry than writing a letter, you were right. But it isn’t free. The number of e-mails and SMS texts in circulation is larger than written letters by a factor of X?.

This is a quote from the principal resource for circular economy information, The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and it wraps the concept up nicely.

What is a circular economy?

Looking beyond the current “take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model, the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimising negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital.”

room44 is a passionate supporter of the circular design concept. It fits well with our own philosophy of encouraging companies to place innovation at the heart of strategy. Together, these ideas are powerful change drivers and we’ll write on the subject throughout 2018.

Have a look at this video to see how circular design works and how you can help it.

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