Environment, Communities

The People’s Design Lab


Who is behind this?

Joan Marc Simon

Zero Waste Europe



Who is joining forces?

Zero Waste in a Box


United Kingdom

Green White Space



Zero Waste France



Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

The People´s Design Lab gives citizens a way to challenge waste by redesigning waste-creating products. 80% of waste from a product is built in at design stage, hidden from public view and understanding. The Peoples Design Lab gives the fixer, the campaigner, the housewife or husband a voice for change… everybody can channel their frustration at badly designed products into constructive, creative redesigns that help eliminate waste and empower us as consumers.

Where will your idea take place?

Denmark, France and the United Kingdom

Why does Europe need your idea?

Industry is locked into design and production systems that result in huge amounts of waste, products filled with toxins, difficult to disassemble, repair, reuse or recycle. With 80% of environmental impacts determined in early design. The design process is not well understood by the public, who are often frustrated at products which end up in their bin because of poor design. With good design, our planet’s scarce resources can be used again and again, building the circular economy.

What is your impact?

We will engage 75 people directly with the redesign of 3 product categories and thousands through media and conferences. As a result they will understand the decisions being made, create new solutions and increase awareness of the value of consumer choices, strengthening the market for sustainable products. We will have developed a toolkit to enable other groups to run the process and 3 producers will pledge to continue the dialogue and co-fund PDL, building a platform for for future activities.

How do you get there?

The project will create a people’s led methodology and IT platform that will identify wasteful products, increase public awareness about them and create the appropriate pressure to trigger redesign. As a Proof of Concept we will host 6 redesign sessions assessing 3 contrasting product categories, with at least 75 participants at the workshops and a further 300 participants on-line. The sessions will engage at least 3 manufacturers in the process and will develop prototypes for alternative designs. Media partners will be engaged early in the process.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

The project aims to empower community members who care about recycling and reuse and want to do something about it. They will be supported by design students and experts. The other stakeholders targeted are the manufacturers whose products are identified as unsustainable and nominated for redesign. Further targets are the wider public who will be engaged through media and conferences.

What makes your idea stand apart?

We have a waste problem because for so long we have refused to introduce feedback mechanisms, relying instead on landfills and incinerators to get rid of the things we can´t immediately reuse, recycle, or compost. Our key innovation is to empower consumers who care about the impact of poor design to constructively challenge it with the support of design and environment experts, creating a new dynamic.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 122254,-

Total budget

Major expenses

The major costs of the action consists of: Personnel costs - 79333 EUR, Subcontracting for design of an online collaborative platform and materials – 11000 EUR, Travel costs to events – 2100 EUR, Events – 24000 EUR, Office costs -5822 EUR.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

To make a real difference, we need community members to join us in: i) Identifying and nominating products that need to be redesigned in our Peoples Design Redesign sessions. ii) Taking part in redesign opportunities online or on the ground designing out waste. iii) Supporting redesign routes – physical, campaigns, further research, policy. We are also inviting you to nominate new designs for the Best Zero Waste designs and welcome you to join the Good Design Debate.



Idea created on Feb. 15, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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