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Selection and framing of briefs for educational circular design projects

Yekta Bakırlıoğlu (Department of Industrial Design, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and School of Design, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)
Nazlı Terzioğlu (Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Sine Celik (Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands and Department of Open Innovation, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands)
Ainur Ulan (Department of ICTA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain and Research Institute for Sustainability Science and Technology, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona-Tech, Barcelona, Spain)
Jordi Segalas (Research Institute for Sustainability Science and Technology, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona-Tech, Barcelona, Spain)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 26 June 2021

Issue publication date: 16 August 2021

280

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present key characteristics of educational design briefs for the circular economy (CE) through the analysis of 11 design briefs focussing on real-life challenges related to sustainability and the CE, developed with collaborating industry partners for four consecutive circular design internships conducted in Ireland, Catalunya, The Netherlands and Sweden.

Design/methodology/approach

These four internships were conducted between September 2017 and June 2019 and each internship lasted three to four months. The supervisors for each internship collaborated with local industry partners genuinely interested in adopting sustainable business practices to develop design briefs focussing on real-life challenges they face. The briefs for each internship were developed further according to the feedback of the interns, industry partners and supervisors of previous internships.

Findings

Five steps of brief making for circular design were identified as reviewing the existing resources, emphasizing the importance of systems thinking, emphasizing the importance of collaboration for the CE, focussing on circularity and communicating expectations. The paper outlines how design briefs changed throughout the consecutive internships according to the different curricula and the characteristics of an educational circular design brief.

Originality/value

For design educators and researchers, the value of this paper lies in presenting the steps for the brief making of educational circular design projects. Additionally, the characteristics of circular design briefs are outlined, discussing their focus and content to act as a guide for design educators.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is produced with the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, under the Circular Design: L4IDS Knowledge Alliance project. Financial support for the internships was in the form of travel and stipend costs. As authors, we would like to acknowledge the insights provided by the interns and the contributions of our industry partners. The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflects the views only of the authors and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use, which may be made of the information contained therein. An earlier instance of this work was presented in the European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production 2019 Conference, Barcelona.

Citation

Bakırlıoğlu, Y., Terzioğlu, N., Celik, S., Ulan, A. and Segalas, J. (2021), "Selection and framing of briefs for educational circular design projects", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 1125-1144. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-01-2020-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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