Designing products and services for circular consumption - A circular design tool
Paper i proceeding, 2021
Most circular design tools focus on how to design durable products that are fit for circular (re-)production flows, or how to design circular business models. The crucial role users play for a transition to a circular economy is often overlooked in existing tools, as is design opportunities to enable and support circular consumption. This paper presents one of the tools in the Use2Use Design Toolkit, the Circular Designs Ideation Pack, which is a user-centered circular design tool especially developed to aid designers and others to design for circular consumption. The tool supports design of products and services that can create enabling preconditions making it more convenient, and preferable for people to circulate products from use to use. In contrast to other available circular design tools, it supports exploration of circular design opportunities from a user perspective and in relation to people’s consumption processes. The tool has been tested in eight workshops with professionals and students, who considered it easy and fun to use. The workshop participants found the tool instructive and inspirational, and said that it helped them to discuss relevant design opportunities and come up with promising circular ideas. They also expressed that looking at circularity from a user’s point of view made it easy for them to address the topic. While the tool was found both usable and valuable in an educational workshop setting, the tool’s potential when utilised in companies’ regular design processes is yet to be explored. Future research will address how to integrate the tool as a part of existing processes to effectively support companies to design for consumption.