The Institute of Design Research Vienna and designaustria have established rules for Circular Design.
© designaustria

“Turn disposable products into heirlooms or build houses for just one generation! Practice professional disobedience against design briefings of the linear economy!”, it says in the intro. Many agree that circular design has a central role to play on the way to a circular economy. To provide all actors in the product development process with a simple set of rules for the design of circular products, the Institute of Design Research Vienna (IDRV) has published the Circular Design Rules V 1.0 (CDR) in cooperation with designaustria. Harald Gründl and Ronja Ullrich have compiled a set of nine cards for this purpose, each of which contains one of the rules that are indispensable in the design of circular products.

Under “Product Material”, for example, M1 is about recyclability (design the product from renewable or recycled materials), M2 is about recyclability (design the product from reusable or degradable materials) and M3 is about reduction (design the product with few materials). Under “Product Components” it is (K1) about dismantlability, (K2) about modularity and (K3) about update/upgrade. Under “Product System” it is (S1) about take-back, (S2) reuse and (S3) service. Through links, direct references are made, for example, from M2 Recyclability to K1 Dismantlability.

The individual steps that must be fulfilled on the way to a circular economy can be noted on a “scorecard”. In this way, the scorecard gives an overview of the circularity of products based on the CDR. The toolkit, consisting of the nine rules and a scorecard, was developed with the support of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection and the Vienna Business Agency as a research project within the New European Bauhaus initiative. The CDR publication is available in printed form via designaustria and the IDRV or as a download version.

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