Design for Managing Obsolescence

A Design Methodology for Preserving Product Integrity in a Circular Economy

More Info


This thesis argues that in order to increase the likelihood that product lifetime extension in a circular economy will be successful from both an environmental and an economic perspective, industrial designers need to be able to control not only the spatial dimension (materialization and geometry) of products, but also their temporal dimension. This temporal dimension is related to the number and duration of product use cycles and the duration of the total product lifetime. To enable industrial designers to capture this temporal dimension, the thesis presents:
• a new design methodology: design for managing obsolescence;
• five new design methods and two typologies in support of managing obsolescence;
• insight into (the factors determining) how and when to best apply these methods;
• insight into where and in collaboration with whom to apply these methods in the product innovation process.