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workshop for the british council
chengdu, china
july 2019

sophie huckfield
kit braybrooke

in this workshop, sophie & kit brought together a focus group of chinese craftspeople and makers in the city of chengdu (which was about to instill its own compulsory recycyling laws for the first time), asking them to explore their relationships to the circular economy through material participation.

participants first examined how the materials that they used every day were associated with their understandings of the circular economy as an intricate system of use, reuse and recycling. participants were then asked to take on a role within the chinese system of production such as transport, design and manufacture, and imagine what a completely sustainable system might look like.

these interactions fostered a collaborative, hands-on environment for all to explore complicated systems thinking topics together in a safe space, and participants engaged thoughtfully and critically with their own perceptions of what it means to be ‘circular’ with reference to everyday experiences.