In the circular economy, the term “regenerative” refers to an approach that goes beyond simply reducing waste and resource consumption, and instead aims to actively restore and improve natural systems. At its core, regenerative thinking is focused on creating more abundance and resilience in our ecosystems, communities, and economies.
One of the key principles of regenerative design is to use materials and resources in a closed loop, where waste is minimised and every byproduct or output is considered as a potential input or resource for another process. This means designing products and systems that can be easily disassembled and repurposed, or even biodegraded and returned to the soil.
In addition to reducing waste and pollution, regenerative thinking also involves actively restoring and enhancing natural ecosystems. This might include reforestation, wetland restoration, or sustainable farming practices that build soil health and biodiversity. Regenerative approaches also recognise the interconnectedness of social, economic, and environmental systems, and seek to create more equitable and inclusive outcomes for all stakeholders. This might involve designing products and services that meet the needs of diverse communities, or creating economic systems that prioritise the well-being of people and the planet over profit.
Overall, the concept of regenerative thinking is about shifting our mindset from one of exploitation and depletion to one of abundance and regeneration. By embracing this approach, we can create a more sustainable and resilient world for future generations.
Keep up to date on our work with the Circular Design Repository and Lexicon of all things circular design by sending in your request (see below). This site is a work in progress as we bring on new team members and researchers, and complete current commitments. Thank you for your interest.