Design from Discard A method to reduce uncertainty in upcycling practice

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Amaltas Khan Puneet Tandon


Upcycling is a suitable option for municipal solid waste recovery, especially, in the unorganized waste management scenario(s), where conventional waste recovery options are not efficient. Unlike standardized industrial manufacturing, upcycling is highly dependent on the quantity and quality of discards, and the involved stakeholders. Novel designs are required to suit varying considerations of every new upcycling set-up, and practitioners face uncertainity to parallely handle the varity and develop a design solution. A very few available design education based methods involve and guide design practitioners to handle the challenges in their case-based upcycling practice. However, these research are the first attempts to practice upcycling in an academic environment, and the results were limited to concepts and prototypes. This work categorically identifies the vital requirements regarding discard and stakeholders, discuss the theoretical foundation to handle the variety, and develop a practice-based design education method for upcycling practice. We propose a method - Design from Discard, to facilitate the participants to study the characteristics of discards, conceptualize a design as per the identified stakeholder(s), and accordingly develop upcycled designs. The method is explaining with an illustrative case where the design practitioner(s) conceive a new design from contextually discarded metalized film packaging. Finally, findings and research directions are addressed to bring new insights to the effective application of the proposed method as per diverse upcycling requirements.

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How to Cite
KHAN, Amaltas; TANDON, Puneet. Design from Discard. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 23, n. 2, p. 129-153, july 2018. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 june 2019.