Time in design. Intelligent strategies for circular design

In this workshop, which is part of a series of workshops I conducted during my PhD research, the methodology used is a modified Google Design Sprint to better accommodate a circular vision for 2050. In this workshop, 27 students participated. Like the “Towards 2050 – Design for the Circular Economy”, the participants of the research were students from the University Iuav of Venice, from different grades except for first-year students. All the students were at that time studying product design or communication design. As anticipated, to facilitate the systemic understanding of the CE and how to manage the different design approaches, it was decided to change some of the tasks presented in the Google Design Sprint workshop.

The following are the most significant changes:

Day 1
• It was introduced the Whole System Design exercise. This is a method used in the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop to define the broader overview of the user and stakeholder needs through the illustrations of all key phases of the current life cycle of the product.
• Consequently, the participants mapped then the current social and behavioural phenomena to understand what makes a product obsolete.
• Consequently, the participants decided how many product use cycles they want to achieve, concerning the product typology.

Then, it was introduced a product journey map, where the participants could better discuss the product lifetime, having a step-by-step timeline. Based on the multi-hierarchical DfX framework, the journey map is composed of eight straight lines that represent each phase of the life cycle system, which includes one product use cycle. At the top of the product journey map, the participants should write the loop number with the main strategy (DfX1) for each product life cycle in order to have a total overview of the product lifetime.

Day 2

• In the CE, especially for some products, the product lifetime may be up to fifty or even more years. For the design team, it is essential to understand how external factors will influence the product to anticipate possible bias of the future. For this reason, it was introduced the horizon-scanning methodology.
A different protocol of the first workshop was observed during the second one, also it has been introduced a new tool in this workshop, the Circular Design Tool. During the workshop, notes were taken by the researcher; then, students were asked to fill out a survey and an analysis with almost the same questions of the first workshop.

Day 3
Once they understood the opportunities and problems for product design, the workshop participants began designing and defining circular ideas that could solve the problems analyzed in the first two days. At this stage of the workshop, only a few activities have changed from the Google Design Sprint.

Day 4
Once the project ideas were defined, the prototype was created to be shown to users the following day. This day was totally dedicated to the construction of the prototype. On Thursday there are no specific activities, the participants in addition to the construction of the prototype have dedicated themselves to defining the questions to ask users the following day. Particular attention in the definition of the questions was given to the analysis of users of the cycles following the first one, in order to better understand if users were willing to buy back the product even if used, refurbished or remanufactured.

Day 5
On the last day, the participants interviewed five potential users of their project to understand how to improve the product in the following phase. Thanks to the prototype made the day before, users could touch and in some cases use the working prototype. This phase of the design process is considered the most important because it is here that participants learn from potential users through their reactions. This qualitative approach was very helpful to all participants. The participants then made a brief recap of user feedback and showed their results to the companies present. The day ended successfully for all five working groups.

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.