circular economy

circular economy


Design for Circular Economy (Design for Lifetime)

   Goal: Understand design to enable closed-loop production, so each end of life becomes a new beginning.

Designing for the circular economy can mean designing for a long life, designing for a good afterlife (disassembly and recycling), or designing for repair and upgrade. See the videos below for details: 


Autodesk Sustainability Workshop Introduction to Design for Lifetime


Autodesk Sustainability Workshop Design for Durability


Autodesk Sustainability Workshop Design for Disassembly and Recycling 


Autodesk Sustainability Workshop Design for Repair and Upgrade


You can also download the Autodesk Quick Reference Guides on these topics:


Quick Reference Guide–Design for Lifetime  |   Quick Reference Guide–Design for Durability


Why we throw things away. Image Source: Eternally Yours Foundation, via Okala Practitioner


Here are more resources on design for lifetime:

  • Natural Capitalism (Hawken, Lovins, and Lovins), chapters 4 and 7. These chapters describe manufacturing optimization, the importance of measuring to find opportunities, design for service, and designing for circular material flows.
  • Eternally Yours: Time in Design by Ed Van Hinte. This book describes how to design for long life in terms of aesthetics, culture, and flexibility.
  • The Maker’s Bill of Rights manifesto by Make magazine. This short list of demands is a good reference for how to design for repair and upgrade.
  • Bloom Laptop for Disassembly and Recycling Final Report.  This student project from Stanford University is an example of how a laptop can be designed for disassembly, repair,  upgrade, and recycling.

Designing for lifetime can be more expensive; one way you can make more money while also saving your customers money is to design for sharing. This changes not just the product design, but the business model. 



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