Big impact for the circular design toolkit Use2Use

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The Use2Use Design Toolkit
The Use2Use Design Toolkit

Through the research project Design for Circular Consumption, The Use2Use Design Toolkit – a toolkit for user-centered circular design – has attracted a lot of attention. The researchers Oskar Rexfelt and Anneli Selvefors, designers of the toolbox, have worked for three years to disseminate the tools, so that companies and organizations can strengthen their circular offerings.

There is a great interest in the topic of circularity today, and The Use2Use Design Toolkit has attracted a lot of attention. In 2021, it won the EIT Raw Materials and Circular Societies Prize in the category “New tools/methodologies to support circular design for products and services”. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation also highlights it as a tool for designers that wants to adopt the principles of the circular economy and put theory into practice.

The Use2Use Design Toolkit consists of a set of tools that can be used to guide design activities with a circular focus. The tools highlight challenges and opportunities for products and services intended to enable circular consumption processes.

The project has been carried out by Chalmers in collaboration with five partner companies, EmmaMalena, CEVT, Husqvarna Group, Valtech and Yovinn, who have been trained and supported to use the tools in their operations, which has been much appreciated.

A gamechanger for us when it comes to sustainability

"During the period, Use2Use has become a tool for facilitating discussion, participation and creating a common view of the circular conditions. With a facilitator, one can get started easily, maintain focus, and ensure that circular ideas are evaluated and acted upon within the organisation," says Therese Elwing, business architect with a focus on circular economy at Valtech.

UX designer Malin Bergqvist adds: "We are so grateful that we got the opportunity to learn how to use the tools and that more of us at Valtech can use these with our customers now".

"Use2Use has really been a game-changer for us when it comes to sustainability! We have not only gotten closer and become better at various sustainability strategies, but we have also been able to create a product that can help our customers act more sustainably. Use2Use has really opened our eyes!", says Emma Landström, founder and Creative Director at EmmaMalena.

The tools are intuitive and easy to use

"Use2Use has helped us in our communication with the customer and contributed to increased understanding and a common picture of the use phase. The tools are easy to use, and an advantage is that anyone can use them without much prior knowledge," says Matilda Henriksson, Designer and Product Developer at Yovinn.

"As one of the partner companies we at CEVT are grateful for the opportunity to test the Use2Use Design Toolkit and learn from the experience. The tools are intuitive and easy to use and function as a guiding star throughout the process." says Erikha Emanuelsson, Expert Lead Sustainability at CEVT.

Oskar Rexfelt and Anneli Selvefors
The designers Oskar Rexfelt and Anneli Selvefors

Available both as a physical kit and digitally

The toolkit was initially produced as a physical kit and there are still some left for those interested. It is also free to download in pdf format for printing, and it can be accessed through the digital workshop tools Miro and Mural. To date, the tools have been downloaded over 4500 times.

The tools are easy to use and do not require much effort. They can also be used together with already existing methods, tools, and processes, which has contributed to the large interest.

Wide distribution to both students and professionals

The project has had a strong focus on utilization, which has been made possible through funding from the Kamprad Family Foundation. Anneli Selvefors and Oskar Rexfelt have reached over 900 professionals through presentations and lectures, and trained over 500 students. They have also conducted over 50 workshops during which close to 300 workshop groups have been able to test the tools.

"Many research projects aim to develop new methods and tools, but these are often not utilized to any great extent. The fact that we had the opportunity to investigate how the tools can best benefit the companies has therefore been extra fun. It has been very valuable to also be able to make them available to more people," says Oskar Rexfelt.

Anneli Selvefors, who today works as a researcher in sustainable and circular design at the research institute RISE, adds: "The tools will continue to be available to everyone on the web and will be used to educate students in circular design. Oskar and I will of course also continue to explore how companies can work with circular design and sustainable transitions through other ongoing research projects and with clients. We are also looking at opportunities for future projects where the tools can be useful.”

For more information

You are welcome to contact Oskar Rexfelt and Anneli Selvefors if you want to learn more about the Use2Use Design Toolkit or if you see opportunities for collaboration.

Oskar Rexfelt
  • Associate Professor, Design & Human Factors, Industrial and Materials Science


Marcus Folino