Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Add Four New Safe and Circular Design Methods to Circular Design Guide

Four new advanced Safe and Circular design methods have been added to the Circular Design Guide to help designers become better equipped to make positive materials choices. Developed by the Institute and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with design professionals, the methods help designers, entrepreneurs and innovators make positive materials choices, as well as rethink the design process to integrate safe and circular principles from the start of the design process. 

Funded by the MAVA Foundation, the project emphasises the fact that not all materials are fit for a circular economy. Materials may contains substances or chemicals of concern which can be polluting and potentially hazardous for humans and the environment. These substances are either used unintentionally or added for performance reasons. However, there are ways to design them out. 

The series of advanced methods offer up solutions to ensure materials are both safe and circular by considering the system around the product - a key circular design principle. Choosing safe materials should be a consideration through the design process, rather than an afterthought, therefore each method corresponds to a key intervention moment: understand, define, make, and release. 

The methods sit within the Circular Design Guide, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO’s design thinking guide for the circular economy. The guide challenges traditional design methods and delivers new approaches, introducing users to circular economy concepts as well as techniques updated for this new economic framework. 

The methods also point to a number of resources, case studies, and tools to enable participants to activate safe & circular materials choices in their design processes. One such tool is MaterialWise, which offers a free platform for screening the substances within a product as a starting point to help ensure the selection of safe, healthy ingredients. 

A webinar on October 3rd will provide a full introduction to the new safe and circular methods. The webinar speaker panel will feature design professionals and experts from the industry who will give their take on the role of designers in the development of safe and circular design. 

Explore the methods and register your interest in the webinar.