Staging co-design for a circular economy

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Pedersen, Signe; Clausen, Christian
Series: ICED
Institution: Aalborg University
Section: Responsible design
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


In recent years major companies such as Philips, H&M and Google have adopted a circular economy agenda to promote sustainability. Design consultancies such as IDEO has developed and promoted a circular design guide to help companies in this endeavour. However, designing for a circular economy often require design and reconfiguration of entire value chains ? making the transition towards a circular economy rather difficult. In this paper we analyse a development project from the Danish island of Bornholm to investigate how to align diverse actors across the value chain in a process of co-creating systems for a circular economy. We combine design, value chain considerations and circular economy mindsets to informing negotiations of concerns among actors in the value chain.

Such strategical navigation might involve:

1. Staging initial spaces for dialogue with central actors from the value chain and initiates a process of mapping out their concerns

2. Staging a re-alignment space where the diverse actors can meet and interact to discuss and negotiate their concerns and their roles in the network

3. Design and enactment of a number of objects to faciliate negotiations

Keywords: Circular economy, Business models and considerations, Participatory design, Re-alignment, Negotiation


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