Study on the circular design knowledge 

Design Forum Finland commissioned a comprehensive study to assess the proficiency in circular design among professionals engaged in product and service development within Finland. Conducted by Otantatutkimus Oy, the study utilized telephone interviews conducted between August and September 2023, encompassing a total of 200 respondents. This sample was carefully selected to represent diverse industries and varying company sizes within the target group.

The findings of the study revealed a notable interest in sustainable design and the circular economy; however, it also highlighted a significant gap in professional competence. Despite the high level of interest, many respondents demonstrated limited expertise in circular design principles.

Analysis of the data indicated a widespread recognition of the importance of the circular economy within companies, with respondents acknowledging its considerable business implications. Notably, a substantial majority of respondents across different sectors reported some level of involvement in circular economy initiatives, with 75 % of designers specifically noting their engagement in such efforts.

It was observed that service-intensive industries exhibited comparatively lower levels of involvement with the circular economy, with approximately one-third of respondents indicating no current engagement with the topic.

While most respondents demonstrated a basic understanding of circular design, particularly in relation to materials and recycling opportunities, the study identified notable deficiencies in deeper knowledge and expertise in this area.

The study was funded by the Ministry of Culture and Education as part of the Sustainable Growth Programme from the EU Recovery Plan Next Generation EU.

The study (in Finnish) is available here.