This mini case study focuses on one of the building blocks of a circular economy – design-for-circularity – either of an entire product or its components and materials. Rather than ending up as landfill, they are sent back to the production system to be re-made (into a copy of the original, for the same intended use). Students explore to what extent it makes sense to do so in different circumstances, using as an illustration a VHS tape to simulate a circularity transformation process through design.

Teaching objectives

Groups of students focus on the problematic components/materials, analysing the following feasible design options for circularity for the VHS tape: Design for Disassembly Material Substitution, and Design for Durability. The assignment is to complete a cost-benefit analysis of the three design options and make recommendations on which makes the VHS most compliant with the circular economy framework.

  • Design for circularity
  • Sustainability
  • Product design
  • Sustainable operations
  • High-tech
  • Q22021