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Design for Cyclability

Dr Kate Goldsworthy

Design for ‘cyclability’ is the conceptual framework for Kate Goldsworthy’s PhD project and on-going research relating to designing closed-loop material systems. Her research interest led her to create now, near and far scenarios and the material possibilities enabled by design. The innovation lies in the mapping and synthesis of the field specifically as a design tool for the development of recyclable textile products.

This has been tested through Goldsworthy’s own practice (Mono Finishing, Laser Line and Twice Upcycled) and also through teaching and consultancy projects. Designers are already working effectively with ‘upcycling’ strategies, but this only postpones the arrival of the discarded material at landfill if followed without consideration of future cycles. The problem of biodegradability and harmful substances to the environment could still be present. As part of a design brief for cyclability, materials are made to be recycled indefinitely without losing value, and ultimately to consider the ‘material ecologies’ to which they return.

In this interconnected process, unlimited materials can have unlimited life cycles, and the material exchange would be open, dynamic and include all material resources.