I have recently co-authored a paper which describes the teaching outcomes and impact on the student cohort of a project I developed with Dr Tim Reynolds at Bournemouth University.
The focus of the project is to introduce the need for product designers to engage with the Circular Economy, and to understand their role in an industrial society, and how any form of manufacturer and human activity has an impact.
Run as a team project, each group selects a topic from a list provided. They then seek to explore how to make existing products more 'circular' through change of materials, repairability, improved product life, and how to make quality affordable. The exercise requires the students to not only think about the impact of the physical design, but also how design can change unsustainable user behaviours.
In addition, the project also raises the need to think about the link between consumption, manufacturing and employment, and how different forms of ownership, (such as subscription and leasing), to reduce waste and help to create a sustainable future.
To assess and substantiate both the learning outcomes and relevance of the project, past participants took part in a survey which is included in the paper. The paper was submitted for review by the selection committee and approved for inclusion in the 2023 programme.