RSA Great Recovery: Rearranging the Furniture

10th September 2015

Every year in the UK we throw out around 1.6m tonnes of furniture and bulky waste, most of which is buried in landfill or burnt in an incinerator. Conserving and re-using this furniture, on the other hand, would save valuable resources, create employment benefits and provide affordable items to local communities.

Taking a unique design-focused approach to the circular economy, The RSA Great Recovery partnered with recycling and waste company SUEZ. Over the course of ten days they challenged a team of pioneering designers to investigate the materials streams and systems that lead our sofas prematurely to the skip, and then to come up with some new scenarios for closing the loop on furniture waste.

The insights and observations prompted them to come up with a series of suggestions as to how these could be mitigated, and finally to propose seven practical scenarios for redesigning furniture systems and closing the loop on bulky waste. These early-stage scenarios and recommendations will evolve through research and live testing as part of the shift to a circular economy.

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