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Circular By Design: Innovation, strategy and resource flows




This chapter will provide the reader with valuable knowledge that may inspire and influence the design of the circular economy. Due to the proliferation and fragmentation of design strategies, the shift is challenging to comprehend and apply in practice. What are the primary strategies for circular design? How can the designer determine which design strategies are appropriate for the product they need to create? How can design strategies be managed and integrated to achieve a consistent approach? And how can design strategies be efficiently used to accomplish multiple product lifecycles? This chapter strives to answer these questions by providing background information to facilitate an understanding of how and why product design and manufacturing play a strategic role in the transition to the circular economy. Concrete examples and case studies demonstrate how firms and designers use circular design strategies to support multiple product life cycles. The chapter is divided into four sections (1) introduction to the chapter; (2) Circular Design Strategies; (3) Customers in the Circular Product Design; and (4) Chapter takeaways. The first section of the chapter emphasizes the distinction between technological and biological resource cycles by providing examples of the two flows of resources. In addition, an outline of how to slow down, narrow, and close technological and biological cycles is provided here. The focus of the second section of the chapter will be on the main strategies that may be adopted to preserve or restore the value of the product, such as Design for Maintenance, Design for Reuse, Design for Refurbishing, Design for Remanufacturing, Design for Upcycling, Design for Recycling, Design for Cascade Use and Design for Biodegradation. Several sub-strategies are discussed and interwoven with case examples for each approach. The slowing, narrowing, and closing method is utilized in the third section to illustrate the key design solutions that may generate sustainable and circular user behaviors. This section demonstrates how product and service designers may shape and affect people’s behavior via the design of products and services. Design for Timeless Aesthetics, Design for Emotional Attachment, and Design for Sharing are just a few strategies addressed in this part of the chapter. In the fourth and last part of the chapter, the notions described above are consolidated to support the reader in the reflection and assimilation of the proposed contents. This chapter is an essential resource for enriching everyone involved in product decisionmaking. Practical and comprehensive, this chapter will be an essential reading for the following decision makers: product designers, industrial designers, process design engineers, product development managers, managers and personnel in accounting, marketing, distribution, and strategy. 


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