[Monthly Update: September, 2022] Circular Design Sprint Gives Us a Question “Does material have to be material?”
- On 2022/10/18
The weather is getting colder day by day here in Yokohama, Japan.
In September, we updated our collaboration with Kanagawa University. Here is the detail of the current and exciting project.
Circular Design Sprint @UK
Circular Design Sprint is a 3-day activity that aims to acquire circular design systems and thinking, presented by 「IDEAS FOR GOOD Business Design Lab」. With the six processes, Understand→ Define → Sketch → Decide → Prototype→ Validate, it attempts to examine the way of making products or services circular.
Check out more about Circular Design Sprint from here.
This time, Business Design Lab and Circular Yokohama arranged the program into a 1-day activity for the Kanagawa University Prof. Doyo’s Lab.
Can stir sticks be circular?
The students at Doyo’s Lab have been working on their circular design study since January 2022. One of the ideas that arose out of the class was stir sticks made from discarded fruits peel.
We invited Innovation Design Co., Ltd., which runs a sustainable cafe and souvenir shop, “haishop” in Yokohama. The students considered if the fruit stir stick could be an actual product at haishop based on the circular design concept.
At the beginning of the Circular Design Sprint, haishop and Circular Yokohama lectured on circular design concepts and tips for sustainable business.
Do we need a stick to stir our drinks?
After learning the basics of circular design and sustainable business, the students worked on prototyping and came up with new ideas.
The critical point of circular design is to focus on function. For example, what kind of function do we expect for stir sticks?
It is not that we want a stick itself. We want something to stir our drinks. From this point of view, questions such as “Do stir sticks have to be stick-shaped?” “Do we even need a stick to stir our drinks?” came up.
The students created their prototypes based on those fundamental questions. The students brought discarded materials such as cardboard, snack packages, and paper cups to create their own prototype.
There were a lot of unique ideas that could replace current stir sticks.
- Make candy from discarded fruit skins and put them together. Use it like a stackable pencil
- Make candy and syrup from discarded fruit so that we can adjust the sweetness
- Put kohakuto (candy crystal) into a rid and shake a cup gently. You don’t need a stick anymore!
- Instead of cups or mugs, how about using wine glasses and stirring with our hands?
- Put sticks in a little gift box to make them look fancy. It would enhance our emotional value and eventually extend its product lifetime
- Stop individual packaging
- Make cups and glasses with reusable regenerated material or regenerable material
haishop gave them feedback;
“When we try to think something creatively, we tend to be lazy examining them skeptically and critically because it seems too complicated and stressful. However, we reassured ourselves that those challenging processes are necessary to solve social issues. In addition, our age or position does not matter when we tackle social issues. We are glad to know some students have the same vision as we do.”
Also, the students left these comments;
“I found it interesting that although everyone began from the same concept, we had totally different ideas in the end.”
“I learned that thinking of circular design never ends. It might be challenging but fun at the same time.”
“I used to think that we need to come up with something new and unique regarding circular products, but now I know the first step of circular design is to see what we already have closely and change our perspective.”
We hope this opportunity creates something beneficial both for students and haishop. Circular Yokohama will keep supporting sustainable education and business.