DAY’s Marieke van den Heuvel on Re-thinking Design for a Sustainable Future


Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time and as creative business partners we feel the urge to address this topic in a creative and positive way! Our senior designer Marieke van den Heuvel took a deep dive into the world of circular economy and sustainable design. She presented her first insights during our weekly Monday Morning Meeting. It was definitely an inspiring and thought-provoking presentation for all of us.


With every new aspect we learn about circular design we realise that the road to a more sustainable world is bumpier than anticipated. Manufacturers are taking important steps to develop recyclable materials but what’s often lacking is a sufficient model to re-collect these materials after they have been used. If we really want to make a difference, we have to re-think the most basic principles about consumption and ownership. We might need to develop new business models. What are the advantages of leasing products instead of owning them? How can we source materials that have less impact on our environment?


Meanwhile, we are taking small steps to improve. Recently, we had the opportunity to apply a recycled product when designing the Konica Minolta showroom in Stuttgart. We used a ceiling solution developed by HunterDouglas called HeartFelt. Heartfelt is made from recycled, plastic bottles and carries the much-wanted Cradle to Cradle bronze certification.


We are also using nudging strategies to tweak the automated patterns in our own behaviour. ‘Nudging’ is all about making ‘the better choice’ a little bit more easy in our daily lives. We have used this simple insight to make the process of sourcing materials a bit more sustainable. We went through our materials library to label the ‘better option’ with a green sticker. The next time, one of our designers will be looking for new flooring or upholstery, the stickers will function as a gentle reminder to make sustainability and circularity part of the decision-making-process.

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