Universities have a different route into working with us. We are establishing a worldwide network of leading universities,which includes Imperial College London, who will become thought leaders and champion researchers into the benefits and processes behind the circular economy.
We have also run what we call 'Teardown labs', in which we strip apart everyday objects from other decades and discuss the effect of the economic and social conditions at the time of their design. Then we look at how design today needs to meet the demands of diminishing resources, rising raw material prices, rising energy prices, falling credit and falling employment. These sessions are always fruitful and innovative.
4. In the Design Matters section on the Foundation website, there are reports of innovative design ideas like the Printed Wiring boards that dissolve in water and the Instant Disassembly concept. How do you take these ideas forward?
So, yes, we do predict that 'consumption' will fall, but people will still want clean clothes, TV programmes, and a place to store their underwear, so they will likely take out a contract to hire a washing machine, TV and cupboard.
Businesses are already adapting their models to fit the new realities of volatile material and energy costs. Will political incentives change to support the new realities? Worldwide subsidies for raw material extraction total US$1.1 trillion pa. We wonder whether governments will switch to taxing extraction of finite resources and support use of renewable resources, such as employment. After all, people are a renewable resource.
© 2013 JENNY MACKENZIE