Featured image: The Circ4Life Design Challenge: How Can You Tell How Sustainable This Product is?
Ever wanted to jump into something you feel connected to powerfully and want to communicate to other people?
Do you want to change the way the world makes things and we connect with our environment? Can you communicate this as a ‘brand’, visually?
Circ4Life is a EU wide project NTU and a Europe wide consortium of makers, thinkers, designers, scientists, technologists, local authorities and the public working together to change what is possible around the supply chain in lighting, computer tablets, vegetable and meat production in Britain and Europe. The project is amiably steered by the world class expertise of Professor Daizhong Su and team at NTU.
Now they need to test and develop the brand and, in this design competition you have the chance to find out and learn about the products in the pilot scheme and work out how it can become a brand that would attract and commit you.
What do you know/think already about making a difference to the environment?
What ingenious visual and research methods would you/could you use to explain the problems consumers currently have in understanding how to be more environmentally useful?
How would you draw the people you know and their closeness or distance to different types of products, how smart is our understanding of ‘smart’ for example? Is a homeless person, using less carbon than a professional person who drives every day? Is a man who grows his own vegetables and makes his own clothes but doesn’t have a smart phone, smart? How can we bring a sense of shared value, currency, economic and social health into our society?
How do we look again at what’s on our doorstep?
How do we redefine a consumer and reward a good consumer? Circ4Life is a project that needs you to connect your thoughts, experiences, skills and knowledge with its philosophy. We need you to co-create and brand its special blend of technology, people and the very best expertise with companies, products and their customer in a way that people will find compelling.
Can you do this?
The idea is that with a co-creation approach that constantly involves more people’s knowledge and experiences (that could be how products affect environment, health, resources) that a broader, more humane and intelligent understanding of environment people, products and supply chain can happen.
Circ4Life have chosen products that can themselves teach each other about recycling, repurposing, re-making and can regenerate the economy with new jobs, skills and ways of working and living.
Take a few brands: (these are the Circ4Life project brands)
and think about them as becoming part of your life: what do you know and think about how lighting, meat, vegetables, computer tablets are made, sold, recycled and repurposed? What connects these products? What disconnects them?
If you owned them what would you expect, how would you want their environmental impact to be? Have you ever thought that you could influence that? Well, your ideas for how the Circ4Life project with Eco Points/credits/debits on products and on an app might begin to change the world are really needed.
Think about Circ4Life as if you own it. Feel responsible for understanding how we all get to grips with supply chains, ethics, resourcing, recycling.
Can you design a brand that conveys the excitement, the humanity, the science, engineering and technologies and how we can change our arrogance about the world, other people and resources.
How can you be involved in creating new skills, new products in the future: could this mean new types of jobs, work, skills?
How would you begin to create the Circ4Life brand?
You can register for the competition: https://www.circ4life.eu/challenge-description
Above: Circ4Life Design Challenge: how would you communicate the care, the connection, the intelligence, the communities and the possible outcome(s) of the project?
CIRC4Life projects approach
CIRC4Life, develops an approach where a product’s environmental impact can be calculated and displayed as eco-points, using an app.
Eco-points are a way of showing the direct consequences of your consumption habits when buying, reusing or recycling products. By using the app you can scan a QR-code to follow the environmental impact of an individual product and make comparisons.
Is this the technology that you’d use?
How would you visualise the app in your brand for Circ4Life? The information also needs to be on the product packaging. How could you visualise the way products, packaging and phones should/could work together better? How could this information be shared at the point of sale? Who could be brand ambassadors for Circ4Life?
What do you think are the most appealing aspects of Circ4Life and how can you visualise it?
and Spain. Alia is a Farmers Cooperative producing high quality feed and speciality meat products, established in 1975 in La Hoya in the Guadalentin valley, Lorca, in Murcia in Spain with 900 members from the smallest to industrial sized farming businesses. The company has ISO900 (quality assurance) and ISO 1400 (environmental management)
Alia has extensive research facilities and integrates technology for agrifood analysis, and the characterisation of raw materials and feed.
Tablet Manufacture ( the project is working on finding manufacturing parters on this through Recyclia). (Companies like CAT are trying in this area and We Buy LCDs of Dundee are attempting to develop this area).
The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) was founded in Brussels in 1983 and builds capacity. The ICCS is a non profit organisation set up by the Greek education department to develop telecommunications, systems and techniques (www.iccs.gr). It’s closely associated with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (SECE) of the National Technical University of Athens. The European Regional Environmental Centre brings the environmental waste management expertise of Tragamovil, Tica Ecoasimelec, Ecolum, Led tube recycling Ecopilas battery recycling in computers, telecoms, electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and batteries.
Ona Ona specialises in lighting design and product development, subcontracting component manufacture and assembling in their own workshops.
Kosnic specialise in LED lamps, pendants and control gear.
Indumetal Recycling SA specialise in WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), complex scrap and logistics including on site dismantling of industrial facilities, decontamination and recycling. After decontamination there is a high level of recuperation of useful components that is useful for new products/recycling/upcycling.
GS1 is a global standards organisation used by 100 countries dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards in supply chains: a framework allowing products, services and information to move freely and efficiently. They give a common language to identify, capture and share supply chain data – ensuring important information is accessible, accurate and easy to understand.
is research- and development oriented: focussing on service innovations and professional competence. Laurea’s strategic applied research areas in service business innovation and design, health, social integrity, and coherent security provides a co-operative platform for design, testing, assessing, modelling, implementing and distributing various service innovations like Circ4Life.
Laurea is a partner providing the research energy, the fuel for Circ4Life and works in a multidisciplinary user-driven way, believing in living labs working alongside regional research and integrating students in live projects with companies, usually SMEs.
Laurea are part of a UK/Finland knowledge transfer partnership where you can participate in a mentorship/learning skills academy for design and product development. If you’re someone who is ‘between a professionally trained background and the gig and gang labour economy’ and have difficulty accessing professional development and you want to develop design ideas and input them, then City Drivers at Laurea University Finland are offering from 12thAugust 2019 to 29th August, a series of free service design training sessions that bring together top international experts to teach you how to leverage creative skills and service design in business development. More detailed course descriptions can be found below.
Please note that some of the courses will be held twice in August and there will be similarities in the training content of the different courses. So choose the courses that are most suitable for you. Welcome aboard If you want to skype participate let them know:
Time: 12/8/2019 – 9/29/19
What does Circ4Life look like to you? Is it ‘family’ orientated or would you visualise it differently? What does a brand like Circ4Life need to make it the brand for the next decade?
Every one of these partners are rooting for you. You can download the design and ideas of project templates here:
and if you have any queries, contact Aletta Purola, here: firstname.lastname@example.org@laurea.fi
Below: what the Circ4Life design page registration looks like:
The Eco Points app connects to RFID (radio frequency identification) technology so consumers can engage with information about products. The idea for you to wrestle with is how you would build the brand through education and participation in much the same way as Too Good To Go has engaged restaurants and food shops with reliable and engaged consumers who want to know and do more to engage with the excess of consumer capitalism and try to turn it into its opposite.
The Institute for Ecology of Industrial Areas (IETU), Katowice, Poland was established in 1972 as branch of the Institute of Environmental Protection in Warsaw. IETU as it’s known, supports research and eco tool innovation in five areas that we can measure through technology: eco-innovation inputs, eco-innovation activities, eco-innovation outputs, resource efficiency and socio-economic outcomes.
RISE is a unique mobilisation of resources to increase the pace of innovation in our society. By gathering a number of research institutes and 180 test beds and demonstration environments under the umbrella of a single innovation partner and develop services, products, technologies, processes and materials.
Make Mothers Matter is the Belgian chapter established in 2008 of an organisation established in 1947 to promote the role of women in the world, international, apolitical and non-denominational NGO working with the United Nations, promoting women and peace.
Eco Points App
Do you think that most of the problems we face are about the way countries and companies see and use the resources and people of the world? Could that be changed by a new kind of ‘brand’ that’s by people, for people, a brand that teaches new skills, gives you information about where the products you buy are resourced, processed, manufactured, distributed, recycled and even repurposed, re-engineered through Eco Points? Could you draw your vision of what this kind of collaboration could mean?
Points can be collected if a product is responsibly, sustainably sourced.
Points can be debited/credited through Eco shopping/recycling/repurposing/upcycling.
Do you think you could draw, paint, write your version of what this project is? Circ4Life’s for you. The resources and Templates are:
Circ4Life will change the way local people across Nottingham, regionally and internationally feel about resources, their production and process into products and what happens and can happen to them after purchase. Could they be repurposed? Recycled? Should we be criticising and redesigning, repairing and reusing? How?
How can the Circ4Life project with these companies become the method that everyone uses to say what they think/feel/experience using a blend of thinking, technologies and making to promote a sense of balance in all we are doing?
You can do it!