Cards for Circularity (CFC): Reflections on the use of a card-based circular design tool in design education

G. Dokter*, B. W. Jansen, L. Thuvander, U. Rahe, J. A. Duijghuisen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


The transition to a Circular Economy (CE) requires designers to, more than ever, concurrently develop a circular design, supply chain and business model, and anticipate how products and buildings function over time. To address these challenges, recent studies identified specific knowledge and competencies for designers. However, it remains unknown to what extent future designers (students) are prepared to address the CE in design practice. Therefore, this study investigates how architecture students currently interpret the CE concept and whether that aligns with how they apply the concept in a design assignment. For two years, a workshop was organized with a total of 320 architecture students. The students utilized a card-based circular design tool to conceptualise circular solutions for cases varying in scale and context. According to the students, the main challenge of design for a CE relates to holistic perspectives and systems thinking. The students associate the CE strongly with the reuse of existing (waste) materials, yet results of the design assignment show holistic and diverse approaches of incorporating CE principles. The study identified slight discrepancies between experienced challenges and reported necessary knowledge of designing for a CE, which could relate to the changing role of architects in a CE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012057
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventSBE 2022 Berlin D-A-CH Conference: Built Environment within Planetary Boundaries, sbe22 Berlin 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 20 Sept 202223 Sept 2022


  • architecture
  • circular design
  • Circular economy
  • design education
  • sustainability


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