Cards for Circularity (CFC): Reflections on the use of a card-based circular design tool in design education
Paper in proceeding, 2022

The transition to a Circular Economy (CE) requires designers to, more than ever, concurrently develop a circular design, supply chain and business model, and anticipate how products and buildings function over time. To address these challenges, recent studies identified specific knowledge and competencies for designers. However, it remains unknown to what extent future designers (students) are prepared to address the CE in design practice. Therefore,
this study investigates how architecture students currently interpret the CE concept and whether that aligns with how they apply the concept in a design assignment. For two years, a workshop was organized with a total of 320 architecture students. The students utilized a card-based circular design tool to conceptualise circular solutions for cases varying in scale and context. According to the students, the main challenge of design for a CE relates to holistic perspectives and systems thinking. The students associate the CE strongly with the reuse of existing (waste) materials, yet results of the design assignment show holistic and diverse approaches of incorporating CE principles. The study identified slight discrepancies between experienced
challenges and reported necessary knowledge of designing for a CE, which could relate to the changing role of architects in a CE.


Circular economy

design education


circular design


Giliam Dokter

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Bas Jansen

Delft University of Technology

Liane Thuvander

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Ulrike Rahe

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Jin Ah Duijghuisen

Delft University of Technology

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science

17551307 (ISSN) 17551315 (eISSN)

Vol. 1078 1 012057

SBE22 Berlin D-A-CH conference: Built Environment within Planetary Boundaries (sbe22 Berlin)
Berlin, Germany,

The circular kitchen 2.0 from prototyp to implementation

Formas (2021-02454), 2021-12-01 -- 2023-11-30.

Region Västra Götaland, 2022-06-01 -- 2023-12-31.

The VGR circular kitchen demonstrator (CIK)

HSB Living Lab, 2022-01-01 -- 2022-12-31.

Region Västra Götaland (MN 2021-00049), 2021-06-01 -- 2023-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories


Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work



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