Over 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined during the design phase. As designers, we shall work with business - not merely for businesses - to lead the transition towards a regenerative economy. We design out waste. We design to maximize resources use. And we design to keep materials in the loop for as long as possible, the way Nature does.
When designing a product or a service, we integrate multiple stakeholders in our study: the people who use our service, those who work in it, the value chains of the business , its local infrastructure as well as the ecosystem. Only by zooming out and understanding the bigger picture, are we able to find synergies and entirely new ways of creating value in our economies.
The key for circular design starts from asking the right questions. Understanding the boundaries of our environment means increased creativity needed to remove inefficiencies from today’s operations. Understanding the limits of a business, its ecosystem and larger society means a diverse set of priorities. Why not better align our goals across sectors? Why design a product that can only be used once?
Maturing process of any life on this planet moves from dependence to independence - and ultimately to interdependence. Growing to become independent means self-sufficiency of a person, business, industry or sector. This alone, however, leads to a world of silos: inefficiency, duplication of effort and absence of synergy.
To find symbiotic value, the secret lies in interdependency: win-win strategy for a growing ecosystem. As the first step towards the circular economy, the duty of a designer is then to make connections between these silos - one company’s trash is another industry’s treasure.
When making a transition towards a regenerative model, a designer should make change simple for the business and avoid adding burdens on customers behaviour. If so, customers will adopt it with relief and excitement, and businesses will be prone to changing.
Our context determines who we are as humans - through traditions, beliefs ans rituals - and it should do the same for businesses.Similarly, the meaning and interpretation of a product, service and experience varies by traditions, culture and norms. No circular strategy survives without a localised and contextualised adaptation.
Circular economy is so much more than just the environment. While we aim at closing the loop of resources and materials, the jobs, communities, collaboration and opportunities unlocked in the process are the driving force of this transition. Not only the workers and customers, but natural resources too, all become stakeholders in this system.
Circular businesses are context based, but our economy is undeniably global. This is not a contraddiction: we need to think small and local - adapting to different contexts in terms of resources - but we have to be able to scale and replicate - in terms of processes - towards new contexts or different market segments.
We have a big vision and we are committed to helping companies become more regenerative by design. If you feel like what we do resonates with you, we’d absolutely love to hear from you. We were born global and always look for new partnerships, ideas, thinkers and doers in shaping the future we all want to see.
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