Capabilities for Circular Economy: Design Culture Experience as a Way to Develop Future Personal Capabilities


Transitioning from a linear to a circular economy requires extensive economic and societal changes. However, whereas environmental implications and impacts are extensively discussed, the social dimensions of the transition are far less considered. The transition towards a circular economy demands a radical mindset shift, integration of design thinking, systemic thinking, interdisciplinary knowledge, and the ability to collaborate among multiple ecosystem actors across various fields and (micro, meso, macro) scales. Design is recognized as an interdisciplinary agent and the engine of CE. Consequently, design-related capabilities (skills, competencies, and mindset) are crucial for the implementation of the circular economy. This paper investigates how experience in design culture can influence individuals from different disciplines (nondesign) to induce design-related capabilities labelled as Future Personal Capabilities, FPCs. Fifteen semi-structured interviews with non-designer participants of the experimental cultural project DesignLibrary Kaunas held in Lithuania were conducted to learn about their experience and its relation to the development of FPCs. The results show the existence of three experience characteristics that highlight the most significant influence on the development of FPCs among non-designers: (1) interaction with designers; (2) storytelling on design; (3) observation and discussion of design artefacts; (4) staying in design-intensive environments. This study contributes to constructing a holistic model for circular design.


Ruta Valusyte
Professor and Head of Design Centre, Mechanical Engineering and Design Faculty, Kaunas University of Technology, Kauno Apskritis, Lithuania


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society


Design Culture, Design Thinking, Circular Mindset, Capabilities for Circular Economy, Circular Design

Digital Media


Capabilities for Circular Economy (pdf)