Take waste and make: guidelines for workshops to find new applications for industrial waste material

Rexfelt, O., Kääpä, J., Leo, L., Ordoñez, M.I. & Rahe, U. (2013). Proceedings from the IASDR Conference 2013, Consilience and Innovation in Design, 24-30 August 2013. Tokyo: Japanese Society for the Science of Design.

Publication type
Conference paper (peer-reviewed)
PhD Project: From Waste to Resources
Oskar Rexfelt Jonas Kääpä Leo Li Isabel Ordonez Ulrike Rahe
Published year



To find new applications for industrial waste material is environmentally and economically desirable. However, generating such ideas is done under conditions that are normally unusual for product developers: It has a specific input, but a very large solution space. This study explores the workshop format as such and more specifically effective set-ups for workshops aiming at finding new applications for waste material. To explore this, four different workshops were carried out. Given its possibilities to incorporate different expertise, ideas from various fields could be generated, increasing the chance of finding a suitable application area. The participants’ task was to generate new ideas for a re-use of discarded PVC cable sleeving. The workshop format made it possible to evaluate variations in the preconditions. In addition to direct observations in the course of the workshops, outputs from the workshops were analyzed and compared to their preconditions.

The workshops resulted in ideas from a broad spectrum of areas, providing a good basis for future product development. It was found that the choice of participants and stimuli were essential for the workshops. This article elaborates upon the connections between the workshop’s set-up and the obtained results.

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