The Role of Design in The Circular Design Economy In East Africa

  • Amreen W. Nazir University of Nairobi
  • Samuel M. Maina, Dr. University of Nairobi
Keywords: Circular Design Economy, designer, sustainability, environment, economy,, East Africa


Every item around us begins with the thought process of a designer. The creativity, labour and energy that went into the creation of these products is not sustainable if they cannot be kept in circulation. This study aims to develop the environmental sustainability movement by exploring the meaning of Circular Design Economy. Problem: Products and materials used in the economic processes in East Africa do not have a sustainable lifecycle. Many items and materials are not able to go through a recycling process and instead pollute the environment. The problem arises from the environmental harm posed by products that have a design unable to be circulated. Objective: The main objective of this study was to identify the role played by the designer in the Circular Design Economy process. Design: Using qualitative research, the study applies the case study design research method. Setting: The study was carried out on the Circular Design Economy in East Africa. Subjects: The subjects of this study were designers in order to understand the role they play on the Circular Design Economy. Results: The results proved that designers play a crucial role on a multiple levels to eliminate waste and pollution by generating products and materials that can be circulated to be used over many product lifetimes. The results also proved that more than ever before, having this design strategy involved now would form a more resilient economy that can help designers address global challenges. Conclusion: In conclusion, the study showed the positive impact that would be created by having a stable Circular Design Economy in Eastern Africa. It also showed that without designers, it would not be possible to create a circular Africa.