The circular pathfinder: Development and evaluation of a practice-based tool for selecting circular design strategies

Sonja van Dam, Conny Bakker, Ingrid de Pauw, Bram van der Grinten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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The Circular Pathfinder tool, which provides guidance to companies looking for appropriate circular design strategies, was developed based on OEM (original equipment manufacturer) case studies. Ease of use was one of the main requirements during development of the tool, resulting in a software-based guide that asks a maximum of ten product-related questions, after which it gives a recommendation for one or more specific circular design strategies. The advantage of a practice-based tool is that the practical relevance is, in all likelihood, high. The disadvantage, however, is the lack of scientific validation. This paper presents a literature review of the decision variables and heuristics of the Circular Pathfinder, with the aim to uncover any discrepancies between practice and literature. The main finding is that the focus on practical usefulness of the tool has led to excessive reduction of the complexity inherent in strategic circular design decisions. Recommendations for improving the Circular Pathfinder tool are given.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlate Product Lifetimes And The Environment 2017
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings
EditorsC. Bakker, R. Mugge
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-61499-820-4
ISBN (Print) 978-1-61499-819-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventPLATE 2017: Product Lifetimes and the Environment - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 8 Nov 201710 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameResearch in Design Series
PublisherIOS Press


ConferencePLATE 2017


  • Circular product design
  • Circular design strategies
  • Circular economy


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