Engagement with Higher Education Surface Pattern Design Students as a Catalyst for Circular Economy Action

Whitehill, Steven and Hayles, Carolyn and Jenkins, Sean and Taylour, Jim (2022) Engagement with Higher Education Surface Pattern Design Students as a Catalyst for Circular Economy Action. Sustainability, 14 (3). e1146. ISSN 2071-1050

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The ‘circular economy’ is seen as an approach by which the issue of sustainability can be addressed whilst broadly maintaining patterns of production, consumption, economic growth, and living standards. If circular economy ambitions are to be achieved, ways and processes of manufacturing need to radically change from the current linear model, and there is the potential for higher education students to act as active participants and catalysts, as explored in this research. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the potential for collaborative learning projects to generate value to all stakeholders and participants, with the definition of value pertinent to each participant’s needs whilst also addressing the principles of circular economy. A case study collaborative learning design project is used to illustrate the positive direct and indirect outcomes and to show how such design projects can form part of a wider drive for transition through innovation towards circular economy ways of working. We consider this research to be at the intersection of circular economy advancement and the integration of effective methods of education for the circular economy in higher education. A cohort of 29 undergraduate surface pattern design students was engaged in a challenge-based design project co-created with an established manufacturing firm. This research shows how such projects provide learning not only for students but also the case study firm and give tangible outputs in terms of new value-generative products. Through an examination of the reflective comments of participants, an outline of key aspects to consider in delivering such projects to ensure greatest impact is identified.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From MDPI via Jisc Publications Router ** History: accepted 18-01-2022; pub-electronic 20-01-2022. ** Licence for this article: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: circular economy, manufacturing, systems thinking, student experience, experiential learning, fabric waste, value generation, collaborative learning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Wales Institute for Science & Art (WISA) > Academic Discipline: Art & Media
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2022 16:09
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2023 15:06
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1889

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