A preliminary review of the concept of circular economy in design research

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Abstract

Themes such as economy of materials, environmental degradation or optimization of production and consumption flows have long been discussed in design and design research. Lately, the concept of circular economy entered the stage as “an industrial economy that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design” (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013). One of the reasons behind the current fascination toward circular economy is surely the (implicit or explicit) promise that circular economy yields the potential to foster environmental protection without limiting economic growth. As such, circular economy has been seen as a way to develop more sustainable business models and entrepreneurial processes but has also been criticized for its neoliberal foundation. Within design research, a good number of contributions looked into theoretical aspects or practical applications of circular economy. The aim of this paper is to survey the field by reviewing some 75 contributions ranging from books and book chapters, journal articles and conference papers. The paper presents a variety of views that not only show different ways in which design research approached circular economy, but also hint at possibilities for further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Cumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019
Publication date2019
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019
EventCumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019 Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence - University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
Duration: 29 May 20191 Jun 2019
https://www.cumulusassociation.org/cumulus-conference-rovaniemi-2019-resilience-and-intelligence/

Conference

ConferenceCumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019 Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence
LocationUniversity of Lapland
CountryFinland
CityRovaniemi
Period29/05/201901/06/2019
Internet address

Fingerprint

Design research
Circular economy
Reviewing
Environmental degradation
Sustainable business
Economic growth
Business model
Environmental protection
Entrepreneurial process

Keywords

  • Circular economy
  • design research
  • literature review

Cite this

Simeone, L., van Dam, K., & Morelli, N. (Accepted/In press). A preliminary review of the concept of circular economy in design research. In Proceedings of Cumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019
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Simeone, L, van Dam, K & Morelli, N 2019, A preliminary review of the concept of circular economy in design research. in Proceedings of Cumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019. Cumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019 Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence, Rovaniemi, Finland, 29/05/2019.

A preliminary review of the concept of circular economy in design research. / Simeone, Luca; van Dam, Kirsten; Morelli, Nicola.

Proceedings of Cumulus conference Rovaniemi 2019. 2019.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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AB - Themes such as economy of materials, environmental degradation or optimization of production and consumption flows have long been discussed in design and design research. Lately, the concept of circular economy entered the stage as “an industrial economy that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design” (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2013). One of the reasons behind the current fascination toward circular economy is surely the (implicit or explicit) promise that circular economy yields the potential to foster environmental protection without limiting economic growth. As such, circular economy has been seen as a way to develop more sustainable business models and entrepreneurial processes but has also been criticized for its neoliberal foundation. Within design research, a good number of contributions looked into theoretical aspects or practical applications of circular economy. The aim of this paper is to survey the field by reviewing some 75 contributions ranging from books and book chapters, journal articles and conference papers. The paper presents a variety of views that not only show different ways in which design research approached circular economy, but also hint at possibilities for further investigation.

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