Design has always been a powerful force for change. Encouraging innovation, creativity and collaboration, it shapes and reshapes our lives beyond aesthetics. Design thinking and processes, in our linear model, however, have created a system that prioritizes productivity and output. As such, the innovative and creative aspects of design often fail to sufficiently account for the entire product life cycle.
The circular economy works to create a system of design that considers not only the end user, but also the entire network of stakeholders and systems that are inherent to the design process, from the selection of materials to the user experience, to the end of life. As WDO continues to educate and activate our global community of designers on the importance of sustainable design practices, we recognize the establishment of a circular economy as a pivotal step to facilitating transformative action through design.
Designers are unique in their capacity to collaborate alongside various disciplines to pioneer new solutions to our most pressing challenges. By harnessing their vast technical and human expertise, designers can work to create products and systems that support circular business models and inspire impactful behaviour change.
Leveraging the restorative and regenerative opportunity of the circular economy, designers and design thinkers can work to forge a new way forward. A way that enables the same level of productivity and innovation, without harming the diversity of our ecosystems and communities. One that take cues from nature, utilizing existing biological and technical resources to design materials, structures and services that give back. One that prioritizes evolution and longevity, rather than just aesthetics, functionality and novelty.
For our part, WDO will continue to influence our international platform to activate our community towards understanding and adopting circular principles. In recognizing that design does not end once something has been created, designers bear a unique responsibility to collectively embrace circularity. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we act in harmony with each and every moving part, however minute, that make design possible. Together, we can design a better world!