Circular Design 101

With a global population of over 7 billion (and growing) and a planet of finite resources, it’s clear our current linear economy no longer serves us.

Posted: November 2019
What do we mean by a linear economy?

We have a widespread, economic pattern around the world of extracting resources from the planet, turning them into something of value, consuming and using them, and then simply tossing them out. In the end, that leaves us with a lot of waste and a depleted planet.

From this awareness comes the concept of the circular economy. By keeping the resources we extract “in play” longer, as if in a continuous loop, we can reduce our consumption of the Earth’s finite resources while simultaneously reducing our waste.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation champions this new economic perspective and argues for the important role creativity and design play, deeming it circular design.

We turn to the experts, who explain it best through these two videos created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation:

Re-thinking Progress:
The Circular Economy

Tim Brown:
Design & The Circular Economy


︎ We have a responsibility to design not just for a product’s use but for its end of life, as well.

︎ How can what we create continue to be reused or repurposed? How can its existence be circular?

Interested to know more? Check out The Circular Design Guide, a collaboration between IDEO and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Next article:
Creating Responsibly: A Practical Guide