Circular Economy

British Council and Ellen MacArthur collaborate on new circular economy workshop

During the first week of December, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Design team and the British Council collaborated to run a week-long workshop on circular design in London.

The Circular Futures Lab was a prototype workshop devised to discover how best to support designers in their efforts to design out waste. Delegates were brought together for a circular design learning experience aimed at making the circular economy a reality for leading designers in Southeast Asia.

The British Council selected six makers, designers and creative entrepreneurs from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to participate.

“The workshops have equipped me with invaluable resources,” said Kamonnart Ong, co-founder of Moreloop, Thailand.

“Our conversations and knowledge exchange within the group and with experts has deeply inspired me to envision future opportunities. I want to solve unmet needs for responsible consumption and production within Southeast Asia.”

The Foundation’s Circular Design Guide developed with IDEO formed the guiding framework for the week, through a series of exploratory hands-on workshops around material research, circular solutions and design strategies.

The workshops were run by stakeholders and partners Materiom, Open Cell, Design Museum, Circular Economy Club and GreenLab. Each workshop session provided insights into how the participants could address their own design challenges and utilise existing tools to reproduce these practices at home.

At the end of the workshop, each participant could apply for a follow-on grant to implement their designs and disseminate the findings with their communities back in Southeast Asia.

“The circular economy is relevant in Southeast Asia due to its current environmental, economical and social problems that relate to how we produce and consume products and services,” said Carlo Delantar, co-founder of Altum, Philippines.

“The program gave us knowledge and skills to promote and implement circular economy initiatives back to our respective countries and acted as a catalyst towards helping emerging countries implement sustainable development.”