Issue No.
4

Focus

Fuelling the circular transition

Design is a key factor in the transition towards a circular economy. We need compelling solutions and quality design that make circularity a clear-cut choice – from service experiences to product and urban development. In this Focus issue, we invite you to explore Danish circular ideas that showcase how to accelerate the circular transition by reducing, recycling, and upcycling in innovative ways. You can dive into cases, video portraits of creative circular frontrunners, and a new white paper on designing the irresistible circular society.

Let's fuel the transition together!

Maybe you should rent your next piece of furniture? More than ever before, companies are transitioning from pure products to 'Product as a Service'. The promising business approach provides enhanced value to customers by switching focus from selling products to solving needs.

Exploring new ways of recycling and upcycling. The transition from a linear to a circular economy is one of the most important imperatives of our time. The circular model requires new ways of designing, producing and consuming materials.

Creative solutions for circularity

What is circular economy? And how do we get there? In contrast to the ‘take-make-waste’ linear model, a circular economy is regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from finite resources consumption.

According to the circular pioneers at Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the circular economy is about asking these fundamental questions: What if waste and pollution were never created in the first place? What if the economy is built on using things rather than using them up? What if we could not only protect but actively improve the environment? We like to add a fourth: what if we designed an irresistible circular society where circularity is a clear-cut choice – both in business models and for end consumers?

With creative and holistic design-thinking, we can make solutions that actively address these challenges. Solutions that recycle and upcycle materials to attractive products with a long lifetime. Constructions that can be disassembled for later reuse. And architecture that increases biodiversity based on circular business models. When used strategically, design is an impactful tool that can accelerate the circular transition in creative new ways.

The circular transition requires innovative thinking and partnerships across borders. For circularity to become irresistible, we need to build communities, innovative partnerships and alliances – and we hope to start today.

Good design has an aesthetic value – also when it’s circular. Meet the Danish creative frontrunners of circular economy and hear them share how they design to reduce, recycle and upcycle appealing design and architecture.

Explore how circular design can drive business. The Danish creative frontrunners share how they work with rental models, upcycled materials and products that can live for generations.

The transition to the irresistible circular society will only be achieved by collaboration. Join us!

Christian Bason, CEO at Danish Design Centre
Explore the white paper 'Designing the irresistible circular society'

Start putting furniture into circulation. Danish Skagerak design items that can be repaired, reused, decomposed and regenerated. The company has launched two new sustainable concepts that make it easier for customers to make the right decisions.

Skagerak buys back designs, carefully restore and resell online. Reclassic is an online platform with pre-loved Skagerak indoor and outdoor wooden furniture that the company wants to give a new chapter in an ongoing story.

Meet the creative frontrunners from Skagerak. The Danish furniture designers at Skagerak's rental and resale concepts keep the brand’s pre-loved furniture in circulation. Explore the full case on Skagerak.

Ambitions of a no-waste solution. Really encourages innovative concepts that prolong the lifespan of textile resources. Their finished material is a closed loop solution and can eventually be re-granulated and formed into new boards and materials.

Made from end-of-life and post-consumer textiles. Currently only 25% of the 95% of textiles that can be recycled actually are. Danish Really, partly owned by Kvadrat, upcycles textiles into high-quality engineered materials made from end-of-life cotton and wool.

Meet the creative frontrunners from Really. Managing director Wickie Meier Engström explains how they work with materials sourced from the fashion and textile industries to create new products with aesthetic value.

To unleash the full potential of the idea of circular economy, we need to embrace design at many levels.

Joe Iles, Circular Design Programme Lead at Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Explore the white paper 'Designing the irresistible circular society'

Building a circular future. For Danish GXN Innovation, the circular transition offers an unprecedented opportunity for the architecture industry.

Upcycling social housing from the 1960s and 70s. The reuse of concrete structures in GXN Innovation's Ressource Blokken takes advantage of the structurally sound materials existing on site. Explore the case in our white paper on circular design solutions.

Meet the creative frontrunners from GXN Innovation. In our video portrait with Partner Lasse Lind, we explore how circular economy plays an important part of their work.

Good circular design is about developing technologies and products that limit material consumption, increase product lifespan and promote recycling.

Lene Dammand Lund, Rector at Royal Danish Academy
Explore the white paper 'Designing the irresistible circular society'

From fishing net to chair designs. Wehlers designs furniture solely made with recycled and sustainably sourced materials. They insist on their furniture being repaired, reused and recycled during and after the “end of life cycle.”

Ocean plastics, E-waste, FSC wood and recycled materials. Each chair from Wehlers use around 2 kg of plastic from the sea or from the recycling site.

Meet the creative frontrunners from Wehlers. In our video portrait with Founder Maria Fryd Wehler, we explore how the born-circular company work circular in their furniture design. Explore the full case on Wehlers.

White paper launch by HRH The Crown Princess of Denmark. At Milan Design Week 2021, HRH and Minister Simon Kollerup for Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs took part in the launch and spoke of the importance of circularity to fulfill the green ambitions.

The Danish circular ecosystem. A broad circle of stakeholders in the built environment have joined forces to develop, qualify and concretise a comprehensive Danish-led bid for a New European Bauhaus.

Designing the irresistible circular society

As part of shared initiatives with the Danish Design Center, BLOXHUB and Danish Architecture Center this autumn, we present the white paper Designing the irresistible circular society. The publication offers concrete solutions for the ambition of making circularity an attractive alternative that can give the circular economy real momentum.

Based on the three overarching themes from the Danish bid for “New European Bauhaus - Designing the circular society”, the white paper presents insights and solutions within:

  • Resource loops and zero waste
  • City(nature), resilience and biodiversity
  • Social values and communities

The publication features academic researchers, directors, and leading voices within circularity, and it showcases Danish design solutions, buildings, production methods, processes, and circular business models. The aim is to bring forward new perspectives on the circular transition, explore the power of design, and shares creative solutions for a circular future.

How do we ensure a sustainable future? BLOXHUB's event series Designing the Irresistible Circular Society put focus on what circularity has to offer to the sustainable development of the built environment. Watch the first talk with professor Thomas Lützkendorf, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and professor Harpa Birgisdottir, Build, Aalborg University.

White Paper

Designing the irresistible circular society

What if we designed a circular society where circularity is a clear-cut choice – both in business models and for end consumers? Explore Danish circular economy case fuelled by creativity in our newest white paper.

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