Towards sustainable materials - a systems approach

Status: This talk is in preparation - details may change
Status: This talk has been cancelled

Cancelled due to illness. We hope to reschedule for a date during Trinity Term 2022.

To deal with issues such as plastic pollution and climate change all materials and products in future will need to be part of a circular economy – they need to be designed for repair, remanufacturing, and recycling.

How far away is that future? Almost all current products and materials in our homes and cities fail this circularity test, thus the task is enormous and means that we will need to redesign practically everything – and do it fast.

In this talk I address the challenges of this paradigm shift with an emphasis on the designing for end-of-life. I give examples from my research group where we have been tackling topics such as plastic waste, repairability and animate materials. In each case the importance of taking a systems approach emerges and brings with it the added complications of working across disciplines from psychology to economics.