In the ‘Design lab’ research group we use design thinking as driver for sustainable transition. We approach the present challenges of the unsustainable production and consumption patterns with new ground-breaking ideas and approaches.
Transition towards a more sustainable use of products and circular economy begins in the design process. It is not enough to upcycle or recycle products once they have been discarded.
In the ‘Design lab’ group, we do research on how to create products that will solve long-term problems and that people will use, cherish and love for a long time. We do research on how to create products that are not prematurely discarded, because they have become obsolete either functionally, aesthetically or technically. And we test concepts, methods and new systemic approaches to sustainable design, development, materials and production, that can extend products' value and lower their environmental impact.
DESIGN FOR LONG-LIFE ICT ENABLED PRODUCTS
Prolonging the lifespan is especially challenging for the fast ageing of ICT enabled products - products where a large component of the product’s intrinsic value lies in its connectivity, intelligence or otherwise software-based digital features. The project “Designing long-life ICT enabled products” is exploring the opportunities and challenges in prolonging the lifespan in specific and concrete domains and product categories to derive new design and construction principles to increase the lifespan of ICT enabled products. The goal is to demonstrate the applicability and potential of the developed design guidelines on concrete products.
DESIGNED TO LAST – EXTENDING THE PRODUCT LIFETIME IN SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED COMPANIES
With the research project “Designed to last” we aim to give small production businesses insights about what it would mean for the company if they can prolong the intended lifetime of their products. We investigate what it takes to create long-lasting designs and we analyse the consequences of longer living products in terms of competitiveness and show them how to work this new knowledge into their business plans in order to make it a part of a sustainable business strategy.
This research is supported by the Spar Nord Foundation.
For a full list of publications, please go to VBN