Thinking in circles, not lines 

Thai design innovator and OSISU Design principal Singh Intrachooto, who holds a PhD in Design Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, transforms button scraps into his "Scarpa Stool," 2009. Image of button remainders by Meike Schönhütte.

The spectacular needs of the twenty-first century will require innovative thinking to create economic and environmental sustainability. The answer to this dilemma? The universally celebrated circle, a shape with no beginning and no end.

The Industrial Revolution created a linear capitalist economic model based on the needs of the eighteenth century's transition from mercantilism and feudal economies to the emergence of a manufacturing-based paradigm. Today, the tenets of this outdated model are ill-suited to our era's unique challenges. Many cling to the linear economic model; many more seek a new and better way forward. Based on a restorative approach to resources, the emerging notion of the circular economy is financially smart and ecologically conscious. It is our best hope for a better future.  

Where the linear economy encourages us to “take, make, and dispose,” the circular economy seeks to join the beginning and end of the economic process in a holistic recognition of the world's interconnectivity. The circular economy is powered by renewable resources, seeks to recuperate our environment and the well-being of all its inhabitants, and represents an attempt to heal the problems caused by over five hundred years of exploitative economic practices. Most importantly to our project, the circular economy aims to minimize and eliminate the problem of waste through intelligent, creative, and innovative design that impacts life experience at every level. 

Learn more about the effort to accelerate the transition to the circular economy here.