Through designing a robotic vacuum cleaner I was exploring how designing for a circular economy changes the product. After seeing how material recycling systems are very slow to evolve and that there is no good infrastructure in place to circulate products before turning them into waste I believe it takes too much time until we have a global circular system that doesn’t require users or companies to fill the gaps.
In this concept I am claiming that the shortest way to reach circularity is by enabling users to have long lasting products that can be maintained and upgraded by the user. If this kind of thinking is built into the businesses it will have benefits for businesses for the users and it is a much more ecological approach. It is truly a win-win situation.
Inspiration & Methods
For this project I started out quite wide by approaching local municipality, local circular initiatives, waste management providers and of course users of the product. Through all the information I believe i have obtained a good understanding of the problems and opportunities we have in relation to circular economy.
Based on this learning multiple probes were built to further discuss the approach I was offering with potential users.
Quick look into of one of the final probes -> video link in new tab.
Concept Zero - it is symbolizing ambition to strive for zero waste. The product is designed to be used for a long time. It is intentionally low key to withstand changes in fashion. For a long lasting product new materials that age well and do not need finishing are used.
It is a product not only from the outside - meaning the internal structures are designed to be acessable and understandable for the users. This enables product care and future upgradability.
On top of the product lives an information layer providing relavant guidance and support for the users.