Project context

The Design from Recycling research project has been conducted as an interdisciplinary collaboration between the polymer engineers of CPMT (University of Ghent) and the industrial designers of Product Development (University of Antwerp), supported by LCA experts of Envoc (UGent) and subcontractor Centexbel-VKC. In addition, the project also found support and validation with an active and extensive user group, composed of design agencies, recyclers, plastic processors, OVAM and Catalisti. This research is financed by the VLAIO-TETRA project 150151: Design from Recycling.

Material Driven Design methodology

To support industrial design engineers in designing with recycled plastics, this research project builds upon the Material Driven Design (MDD) method, where a (new) material is the starting point of the design process, analogous to Design from Recycling. This approach aims to structure the design process and bridge both technical and experiential perspectives during different activities.

The design manual is the translation and follows the Material Driven Design process in six major steps, as shown below.

  1. First of all, the material flow is technically characterised in the lab;
  2. And the unique sensorial and experiential aspects of the material are evaluated by designers.
  3. The interpretation of both steps leads to a material experience vision (or marketing slogan) for the material;
  4. To facilitate the idea generation.
  5. Finally, appropriate ideas can be further elaborated according to the design guidelines for recyclates.

This manual will walk you through these steps and illustrate them with examples from several material cases.

Project partners

In addition to the research team, the project also found support and validation with an active and extensive user group, composed of design agencies, recyclers, plastic processors, OVAM and Catalisti.

  • EnVOC
  • Recticel
  • Samsonite
  • Quadrant
  • Eco-oh!
  • Suez
  • Vanheede
  • Galloo Plastics
  • Deceuninck
  • Govaerts recycling
  • Beaulieu
  • Cabka IPS
  • VDS-Technics
  • Fosfor
  • Pilipili
  • Voxdale