Circular Design Guide

Developed by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO

What is it?

The Circular Design Guide is a collaboration between Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO, which offers circular innovation methods as well as interviews with designers, creative exercises and worksheets, case studies and links to technical tools.

What is it useful for?

  • Understanding circular flows

  • Engaging organizations

  • Learning about design thinking practices to circularity

  • Circular business models

  • Regenerative thinking

  • Materials mapping

  • Digital systems

Description from Authors:

This guide is a free online resource that aims to raise awareness of the circular economy, nurture a “systems perspective,” and share practical innovation methods.

It includes 24 methods, grouped in into four areas, loosely aligned with the flow of a circular design process: Understand, Define, Make, Release. The methods include introductions (“Understand Circular Flows”) and helpful techniques for those struggling to engage their organization (“Circular Buy-In”). Some adapt traditional design thinking practices to circularity (“User-Centered Research,” “Rapid Prototyping,” “Circular Business Model”), while others—such as “Service Flip” and “Imagine New Partnerships”—have been created specifically. Wild-card methods—including “Learn from Nature” and “Regenerative Thinking”—are designed to inspire readers.

‌The Circular Design Guide is packed with extras: interviews with designers; worksheets for each method; illustrative, inspiring circular innovation case studies; and links for helpful technical tools, such as material selection

Useful links and resources:

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