Titled “From Aspiration to Action: An Adaptive Strategy for Circular Design,” the foundation’s strategy outlines how companies can leverage design to move away from the linear “take, make, waste” model towards a circular economy.
By outlining the principles of waste elimination, material circulation and nature regeneration, the circular economy proposes a new framework for moving towards a system that is beneficial for businesses, people and the environment.
The strategy is centered around six focus areas referred to as Design Impact Points which the organization says “create an organizational environment for circular transformation”.
These include monitoring and interpreting the system; Visualize circular futures. Creating conditions for cooperation; Building circular design capabilities. Rewriting the rules; and developing tools for design and evaluation.
Each point is supported by case studies to illustrate the different levels of the system to which it can be applied.
One example includes a collaborative project called The Jeans Redesign, which brought together more than 100 brands, manufacturers and textile mills across the fashion industry to follow a consistent set of guidelines for making jeans using circular economy principles.
Another example includes a global change management program created by engineering and architecture firm Arup with the aim of integrating the circular economy into its organisation.
An adaptive strategy is designed as a starting point for change and can be contextualized and customized for each scenario.
“This work provides a set of complementary and interconnected strategies for those leading circular design efforts, including, but not limited to, chief design officers, heads of design, innovation and strategy, and systems or business designers with multidisciplinary teams,” said the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. In the current situation. “As more organizations embark on the transition to a circular economy, diverse paths are emerging on how to move from aspiration to action.”
“The knowledge shared here helps deepen understanding of the topic and what it takes for organizations to leverage design to achieve circular, regenerative outcomes.”
Building on the urgent need to redesign our extractive economy, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation was founded in 2009 by former British sailor Ellen MacArthur, in order to help the global economy shift towards a circular economy.
In a recent opinion piece for Dezeen, Dame Ellen MacArthur argued that designers and brands must go beyond recycling and focus on making bigger systems-level changes to help the world transition to a circular economy and eventually reach net-zero goals.
To learn more about the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, visit its website.
This article was written by Dezeen for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as part of the partnership. Find out more about Dezeen’s partnership content here.