Make it Circular Challenge
By What Design Can Do
What if we could get to the root of the climate crisis, and make our lives not less but more fulfilling at the same time? This is the question behind the Make it Circular Challenge, a new competition launched by What Design Can Do (WDCD) and the IKEA Foundation. From now until January 11th of 2023, they’re inviting the global creative community to show the best that circular design has to offer. This includes new ideas and existing innovations that prevent waste by rethinking our way of life: from what we eat and wear, to why we buy and how we build. The end goal? To find and create products, services, and systems that are both user-centered and earth-centered—making a circular future more accessible for all.
Moving from Linear to Circular
For centuries, our economies have been based on the linear model, where raw materials are extracted, transformed into products which are used briefly, and then thrown away. The trouble with this model is that it is deeply exploitative, and runs on the assumption that infinite growth is possible on a finite planet. Today, we are seeing just how wrong this assumption was, and facing the consequences of a rapidly changing climate.
The good news? We now have an opportunity to shape a radically different future: one that’s restorative and regenerative by design. WDCD wants to support the creation of a circular society, in which resources are embedded in cycles rather than straight lines. If we make the shift today, we could eliminate waste from the start, prevent further damage to our ecosystems, and reduce carbon emissions in the nick of time.
The hidden power of creativity
“Many people become lost in the face of so much outrage, fatigue and disinterest—but not creatives,” says Richard van der Laken, co-founder and creative director of WDCD. “The ability to imagine is the creative community’s ideal domain: seeing what does not yet exist, taking on a challenge, forging ahead with optimism.” This makes them brilliant agents of change, whether they work in advertising, product design, or architecture. This is why the Make it Circular Challenge calls on designers everywhere to use their persuasive power for good.
Submissions should respond to at least one of five categories reflecting the key aspects of a circular society. The Challenge talks in terms of society rather than economy, because a truly resilient system must also consider the social and ethical dimensions of how people live their lives, from sun-up to sun-down. It demands a transition that is inclusive and equitable, and that gives people the tools to participate in not just circular products but in circular ways of living. Here are five major areas in which creatives could make a difference: what we eat, what we wear, what we buy, how we package, and how we build.
Make it Circular Challenge
Start: October 11th, 2022
End: January 11th, 2023
Submissions: on the Make it Circular platform for free
Winners: Winning ideas will be turned into reality with € 10.000.– in funding and a global development programme which has been co-created with Impact Hub.
To follow along as the competition progresses, follow WDCD on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.