circular headphones

Design plays a central role in the transition to a new way of using resources. The transformation from a linear to a circular economy can strongly be influenced by design decisions. Besides basic technical aspects concerning the material, manufacturing, cost and functionality of products, designers are questioning the emotional impact products have on people.

Headphones as a consumer product show the potentials of plastics in the circular product system. While designing headphones aspects such as lifestyle, consumption, comfort and material can be key aspects that are also extremely important on a reflective level. This message is translated into gestures and affective shapes – highlighting the material characters of mono-material and recycled plastics. The designed headphones are a dialogue of old and new materials, questioning the state-of-the-art of recycling and gives a view into the close future.

“It is all about message, about culture,
about the meaning of a product or its

Donald A. Norman

There is something more than functionality, something that is additional to the function. Through affective design, objects become the communicator of an aesthetically packaged message. While using a strong and unconventional design language attention can be drawn to the great potential of sustainable material use.

“Round objects offer
unique potentials for
discovery and delight”

Ingrid Fetell Lee

Form can build trust for products and material in society. The form of recycled materials need to be consciously designed to create value for the sustainable circular economy. While not hiding the appearance of the recycled material and combining it with easily separable mono-materials the attention of people are captured.

Thank you for this nice collaboration
@ Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä / Studio Finna
@ Lorenzo Hoorn / TU Delft Product Design
@ NONTOX / EU project