WDCD Live Amsterdam 2017: Activation Session Report

Closing the Loop


Published in Climate Action & WDCD by

Closing The Loop was one of 4 activation sessions focussed on the theme of economy and climate change which took place on Day 1 of WDCD Live 2017. In this ‘circular design pressure cooker’ participants were invited to consider a design all the way from sourcing to production to use, in order to find ways of making the process circular.

Ellen Schindler, partner at Kossmann.deJong exhibition architects, explained how her office embraced sustainability and circularity by engaging staff, employees, suppliers and clients. Practice what you preach was her motto. In other words, don’t travel when you can Skype. Using recyclable materials also became important. Short-term thinking often kills good intentions, so it’s important to keep long-term goal in mind, Schindler stressed.


Pieter van Os, an advocate of circular design, then explained to participants how to ‘close the loop’. He warned that resources like wood and fossil fuel would be far less available to people born in 2010. The challenge, he said, was to identify the ecological and economical values of products, and to improve these values in sourcing, production, use, reuse, and end of life of products through dismantling, recycling and avoiding pollution. What investments are made and how are they recuperated along the line? The entire process needs to be reconsidered, Pieter explained. The goal is to eliminate waste.

In just one hour, participants learned all about value destruction and design strategies such as the ‘gap-exploiter model’ and ‘classic long life’. You could almost hear the brains of participants at work as they took it all in.

Next, everybody set to work applying the newly acquired insights to Bugaboo strollers. There were ideas aplenty. Strollers could be reconfigured as bikes, seats or beds toddlers. Or leased and continuously upgraded. Or communicate advice on health and hygiene could to parents. Fashion labels could even refurbish them.

One out-of-the-box thinker then made the ultimate suggestion: ‘Parents don’t really need a stroller at all. They can transport children in lots more sustainable ways!’ Not sure if Bugaboo will pick up on this idea.

Top photo: Participants sharing their ideas (photo Leo Veger)

CLOSING THE LOOP was one of three BNO CIRCLE SESSIONS at WDCD Live Amsterdam 2017.
With these sessions, BNO addresses the important role of the designer in working towards a sustainable and future proof world.


Moderator Pieter van Os leading the session (photo Leo Veger)

Moderator Pieter van Os leading the session (photo Leo Veger)

The session in full swing (photo Leo Veger)

The session in full swing (photo Leo Veger)

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