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Transcript: Designing Materials and Emotionally Durable Products for a Circular Economy with Merryn Haines-Gadd

Transcript: Designing Materials and Emotionally Durable Products for a Circular Economy with Merryn Haines-Gadd

SEE THE SHOW NOTES AND LISTEN AT: Designing Materials and Emotionally Durable Products for a Circular Economy with Merryn Haines-Gadd

Katie Whalen [00:00:05] Hi, I'm Katie Whalen and join me each week as I talk with experts around the globe about Circular economy. You'll find out what's being done to make it a reality and if it can really solve the problems it promises. It's time for Getting in the loop.

[00:00:26] Welcome back to the Getting in the Loop Podcast. I'm your host, Katie Whalen. And today on the show, we're getting in the loop with Dr. Merryn Haines-Gadd. Merryn is a postdoc researcher at the University of Exeter within the Exeter Center for Circular economy. She works in the EPA as our C consortium Manufacturing Immortality, which investigates the design opportunities and circular economy implications of self healing materials within product development. Before making the transition to academia, Merryn was a designer for an innovation consultancy, and this laid the foundation for her knowledge and interest in innovation methodologies. In today's episode, we're talking about design and innovation, a topic near and dear to my heart. In fact, Merryn's PhD was actually a collaboration between Philips Lighting and the University of Brighton that explored the integration of emotionally durable design into the new product development process of consumer lighting. So in this episode, you'll hear a little bit about that and product longevity strategies for Circular economy. We also finish off with self healing materials and I think you'll find this super fascinating. So be sure to listen to the very end. If you're a new listener to the Getting in the Loop Podcast or even if you've been around for a while. Did you know that we have a website? Head over to GettingInTheLoopPodcast.com. There you can find links and resources related to this episode and all of the previous ones. Without further ado, let's kick off today's episode. Dr. Merryn Haines-Gadd.

[00:02:11] Hi, Merryn. Welcome to the Getting in the Loop Podcast. I'm so happy to have you here today.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:02:16] Right. Thank you.

Katie Whalen [00:02:18] So we met, I believe it was in September at the Plate Conference in Berlin. And we're going to dive into some of the topics that you were telling me about regarding your research there. But before we get into that. Can you just say where you're calling from today?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:02:39] Sure, I'm calling from the UK. I'm base in my Oxford office at the moment, but I work at the University of Exeter.

Katie Whalen [00:02:47] Yes. I'm really- I'm very curious. I think it was just a very recent move that you made to the University of Exeter. Is that correct?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:02:56] Yes. Yes, about a month and a half ago.

Katie Whalen [00:02:59] Yeah. And can I ask, what brought you to Exeter?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:03:02] Sure. Well, I work with Associate Professor Fiona Stanley. She's the co-director of the Exeter Center for Circular economy, which is based at the business school.

[00:03:13] And so we're working on a project together called Manufacturing and Mortality. Now, this is an EPSLC funded research consortium between seven different UK universities. And so what we're doing is we're exploring the design and the development of self-healing materials. And so my my job within this project is to explore the design applications, but also the circular economy opportunities. If we were to implement these into different kinds of industrialized products.

Katie Whalen [00:03:41] Very, very cool. And I know that Exeter is doing great work regarding Circular economy and this center, which is I think relatively new, so I'm excited to see what's going to come out of the center in the future. And I'm also excited to talk to you about your work in self viewing materials. But before we get into that, I'd love to hear a little bit about what I think was maybe your masters. Correct me if I'm wrong, but your research related to emotionally durable design. Am I correct that this is like sort of your your master's work or it was a little bit focused on what you're not a little bit different than what you're focused on now? Or maybe I'm making this up, man, and it's fine.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:04:29] This was my PhD product. But yes, it definitely is kind of a bit of a sidestep, but both topics kind of focus on product longevity, which is something that I sort of have been working on for for quite a few number of years. But essentially emotionally durable design is an approach to design that looks to understand why people love, cherish and keep some products longer than than other products. It was originally an idea developed in a book written by Professor Jonathan Chapman back in 2005, and he was my mind, my first supervisor on my Omega HD. And so one of the main issues that it looks to address ideas of over consumption and sort of behaviors related to the discarding of products that still function. And so one of the main arguments for why this is the case is that designers and developers have been creating products that don't really allow for any form of sort of meaningful or emotional engagement. And so what this approach offers are sort of concepts and strategies that are about encouraging consumers to just care more about their products. And so this is about them sort of allowing to develop these more sort of emotionally resilient and emotionally durable relationships with their stuff. But to give you an example of sort of an object, I would say that has emotional durability is one that you would keep and you'd need love and you'd careful over kind of longer periods of time. I mean, most people have these kinds of objects in this life in their lives. Some it's kind of their car. To others, it's a sort of a favorite pair of boots. But but we found that if we can sort of understand why people love and care for these products will for longer periods of time and as it is, take that thinking and apply it more broadly to sort of all kinds of products. This might help to sort of deal with some of the issues of sort of shortening product lifetimes and the sort of system that we've got into where people are to sort of buying stuff and then sort of throwing it away without really thinking about it.

Katie Whalen [00:06:35] Yeah, I see a direct link to sort of it's like this idea of circular economy, especially when I hear you talk about extending like the lifetimes of useful products and continuing to to use them again and again rather than just disposing them at the end of life.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:06:53] Yeah, exactly. And you know, these ideas are very much about extending that primary lifetime, you know, so it's relating to the sort of innermost loops of the sort of circular economy system. And it's really about trying to kind of maximize the value out of that product right from the start.

[00:07:11] But also, you know, we kind of feel that if people start to care more about stuff, care more about materials, this might also sort of help to promote more kind of sustainable behaviors in terms of how we interact with other stuff in a sort of in a day to day way.

Katie Whalen [00:07:28] So I apologize for calling it your master, your master. Yeah. It's much more than just the Masters if it's a- Yeah. It's your doctoral thesis. But for your thesis and for your PhD, how did you go about looking into emotional durable design? Were you working with designers? Were you working with consumers?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:07:54] So while the project was a collaboration with Philips Lighting and so I was able to engage with the company right from the start. Also, I'm I'm a designer by background.

[00:08:05] And so I took kind of more of a practice led approach to the research. So we kind of did a mixture of different things. We sort of were engaging with Philips lighting and talking to those who work in new product development. So sort of designers, engineers, product managers, researchers. But I was also kind of engaging with the ideas from the literature, from Jonathan's book and trying to sort of translate those into a kind of usable design strategies. We did also kind of do a little bit of and user data gathering as well. So we we asked people to come and bring objects that they loved, that they loved and cherished and and sort of tell us. Tell them. Tell us about them. So they sort of gave us their stories. And we looked we looked at these stories and then sort of tried to identify, you know, how can you translate those again into design strategies? And so in the end, we ended up developing a kind of a framework for engaging with emotionally durable design, which was sort of in the end turned into kind of a toolkit that that new product developers can use to within their practice.

Katie Whalen [00:09:15] Fascinating. Yeah. I stumbled upon the toolkit a couple months ago, maybe earlier this year, but yep. Is it something that's a widely available that listeners because I know that we have some designers who follow along with the Getting in the Loop Podcast. Is this something that people can can use? Is it available on online?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:09:39] At the moment, we've only really just published about it.

[00:09:42] I one of my plans is that I'd really like to put it online and and give it to more companies to use. I mean, over the last year or so, I've spoken with a few different companies and we sort of had one on one chats and we're trying to engage with them about these ideas. But yeah, my plan my plan for the future would be to either make the sort of toolkit available online that people could download or maybe purchase. I'm not really sure at the moment, but I'd always love to talk to anybody who would like to use these ideas. I mean, I think what is really interesting about emotional durability is that it's kind of takes this more user focused approach to sustainability and it really puts the sort of the users emotions and the users wants needs kind of right at the center, right at the heart of what it does, which I think that is what companies find interesting, especially companies who are sort of doing consumer led innovation or consumer led products. But yeah, I'd be I'd be really happy to talk to anyone he wants. He's interested in these kinds of ideas.

Katie Whalen [00:10:47] I'm just just thinking about this now. Is there also a possibility that this could be used by designers in a more like a manipulative kind of way? I understand that. Probably not the purpose, but is it? Yeah. We sometimes see you design thinking about user centered perspective. Is it could we at rules out with like unintended consequences? I don't know. Maybe businesses like out there.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:11:18] No. Maybe. I mean that's the thing. You know, a tool like any other tool can do anything depending on how you use it. But kind of one of the main themes that say that the framework itself is built around kind of nine print themes of sort of emotional durability.

[00:11:34] But one of the main themes that we have in there is the theme of integrity. And so the idea is that how can you build both a kind of a physical integrity, but also kind of that that emotional quality of integrity into your product. And so that that for me, I feel that if a designer were to sort of really engage with the frame framework meaningfully, they would have to ignore that. That's sort of quite central theme. I mean, they could do.

Katie Whalen [00:12:02] Okay. I like that. Maybe. Would you would you be able to share? You said nine different themes. Would you be able to share share what they what they are the sort of core pillars?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:12:12] Oh, sure, sure. Yeah. So the first theme is about relationships. So it's about, you know, what are the relationships that exist within the user interaction journey, not only between sort of people and products, but between other people as well. And a lot of this is about sort of understanding how we can build sort of rewarding partnerships between people and products through things like sort of active participation, creative activities and sort of things like maintenance and repair. The next main theme is, is narratives. So, you know, what are the narratives that exists between between people and products? And this is very much about understanding that kind of unique shared history that exists between a person and a product and about understanding how we might put that in the product. So people can sort of use it in order to kind of evoke memories. These are often, you know, objects that people sort of inherited or sort of they bought at a particular time in their life to mark an occasion. But it's very much about sort of understanding the stories that exist behind products. The next thing is, is identity. So it's about understanding what is the identity of both the product and the user and how can these kind of coexist within the sort of user interaction journey. And a lot of this is about understanding that, you know, often people buy and use objects as a way of sort of reflecting and projecting elements of their own identity out to the world. And so as a designer, sort of if you understand that fact, you can kind of see, you know, how you can embed these ideas into into the product. The next one is imagination. So this is very much about how can we inspire imagination within within the product, within the interaction journey about sort of understanding the kind of delight and intrigue that can exist in the way the product works. And it's about sort of looking past that kind of functional interaction and seeing how can you create a little bit of magic in in the interaction and sort of allow people to really engage with the product.

[00:14:17] The next theme is about conversation. So it's about understanding how can we facilitate a conversation between a product and the user. And a lot of that is about understanding, about creating inherent feedback and feed forward interactions. So, you know, if the product were sort of what to behave will act a particular way, the user would understand it. And so thereby sort of allowing them to sort of cross this barrier where they can sort of more meaningful engage with the product and sort of when you kind of start creating conversations between people and products. This then goes on to the next theme, which is about consciousness. And so this is about understanding how can products have a sense of consciousness and be perceived as having sort of autonomy and, you know, almost kind of possession of the free will. You know, you can design products, how kind of quirks and it'll be a little bit temperamental. And and what this does is this is very much about kind of animosity and anthropomorphism. So, you know, things like a Roomba, you know, these these sort of products have been designed so that people sort of can sort of almost sense that it's got a personality and then people come and attach them because because of that reason. And then the next theme is, is integrity, as I mentioned before. And this is very much about, yes. Building in the sense of both a physical and textural integrity. So it has a durability or a liability, but also it does have a strong sense of sort of honesty and transparency in what it delivers.

[00:15:46] You know, it kind of gives a sense to the user that it will give the same functional use with each. With each, with each. Yes. And then the second to last theme is materiality. So this is very much about understanding how does a product aid and develop through time and through use. And a lot of this is about understanding how materials can age with grace. A lot of materials today, sort of age terribly and sort of this really gives the sort of negative perception of of the product itself. But it's also about understanding things like celebrating the imperfections. So ideas like wabi sabi with, you know, sort of Japanese philosophies of that kind of origin. And then the last name is is evolve ability. So this is about understanding how can you allow a product to evolve over time with the user? All of this is about sort of keeping keeping it moving. Allowing a sort of interactions or the product to adapt and evolve over time. Sometimes this is also about kind of transformation. So like product, if it perhaps is come to the end of its life or it's useful function, it might be up to transform into something else. I wish things. Things like come up cycling as an interesting example of that. So, you know, kind of products or materials that some have a previous story or narrative that then can go on and become something else. So yeah, there's the nine themes.

Katie Whalen [00:17:14] Thank you for the overview. I was like writing down each each one as you were explaining it, and I think you did a tremendous job of explaining it. I was really struck by some of the things you said in terms of like aging with grace and also sort of the evolve ability of different products, because one of the things that I hear being mentioned a lot of times in relation to Circular economy is thinking about, you know, in the design phase, thinking about how this product can be read, continue to be reused and evolve over time.

[00:17:56] But I think it's a little bit. Often it's easier said than done. I don't know if you have any reflections on that because of your investigation into emotionally durable design.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:18:09] Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think one of the things to look to is some of the circular design strategies as well, which really talk about ideas of sort of modularity and ideas of so that, you know, products can upgrade over time. But I think it is also a really fun and interesting design challenge. I mean, I think what designers don't often do is use time as a resource of design. And I think there's some really interesting ideas. If you were to look at time from that perspective rather than something that you're trying to battle against, it's something that you use as a source of an innovation, you know, and there's there's lots of interesting materials that are sort of you can you can use or design with that, you know, don't don't, you know, get better with time, you know, sort of the more classic examples of things like leather and sort of copper and sort of these these sort of more living materials, as I sort of called. But I think as we're we're moving into a space where there's a lot of material innovation happening at the moment. You know, designers can can look to these new materials and say, you know, is this useful for this new cycle economy system or how can I use this material in a new kind of way?

Katie Whalen [00:19:23] Well, I think that's you've also sort of set it up for a great transition to talking about self healing materials. I think maybe you did that on purpose.

[00:19:33] But yeah, I'd love to chat with you a little bit more in regards to what you were presenting at play. And I'm a little bit blanking on the title of your talk, but it was related to self healing materials, right? That was somewhere in the title.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:19:48] Yes. Yes, it was self healing materials in a circular economy. So, yeah, basically self healing materials are a new category of kind of smart materials that can repair themselves off the damage.

[00:20:02] And there's sort of two main types of self healing. There's extrinsic self healing and there's intrinsic self healing. Now, sort of extrinsic self healing works by embedding either micro capsules or vascular networks like the veins within our skin. And what happens is that inside these these networks and these capsules, you have the kind of a healing fluid or sort of heating agent of some kind or a biological components that can sort of produce a like for like material. And so to give you an example. Self-feeding concrete is it is a great example of extrinsic self hating. And essentially what they do is they take this very particular kind of bacteria that's able to produce calcium carbonate. And what they do is they put it in a micro capsule and they embed that into the bulk of the material as it's being mixed up. And then it sort of put into a sort of bridge or a road or a building. And then over time, if things like micro cracks appear, what it does is that sort of lets in moisture. And then what this does is it kind of activates the bacteria and it sort of starts to produce calcium carbonate, which seals up the crack and wants the crack is sealed. The moisture goes away and the bacteria kind of goes back to sleep and goes back to being dormant. So this is a really cool example of that. And it's something that can kind of lost for quite a long time. The other kind is intrinsic self healing. Say for me, this is a little bit a kind of chemistry magic. But essentially there are these kind of materials where you can cut them or scratch them or sort of, you know, they get cracks in them. And all you have to do is sort of either press the services back together using pressure or apply a little bit of heat or sometimes electricity. Sometimes it's a chemical treatment as well. And essentially what it does is it kind of reforms the bonds of the material at a kind of molecular level. So it almost goes kind of not quite to a like new sort of condition, but it kind of is reformed at that level. So a lot of these materials tend to be kind of more polymers, polymer based. You know, we've developed in our products a sort of a self hating polymer that behaves in this way, but there are sort of some really exciting different kinds of materials out there. And and they're being explored in things like glass a little bit in sort of asphalt, self-cleaning asphalt, which is kind of cool. But yeah, it's a sort of new kind of it's not entirely new. It's been around for sort of 20 years with a kind of more biochemistry and chemistry spaces. But it's it's just now starting to come into these more kind of design and engineering conversations.

Katie Whalen [00:22:52] Really cool. Like it's heavy. The concrete example, like you have an additive of bacteria that you put in and then it just repairs itself over time. I mean, that's that's pretty impressive. And I'm thinking about like what you said about the the intrinsic self healing. And you mentioned that you're looking at least in your product project, you're but you've been looking at polymers. So maybe you could expand on that. One of my sort of thoughts that I had was, are you applying it to any specific type of products? And what is sort of the usage look like for those those products and using those polymers and kind of making sure that they self heal over or over time?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:23:37] Yes. So we're looking at a few different application spaces and we're looking at kind of more than one kind of material as well.

[00:23:46] But what sort of one of the most, I guess, publicized and sort of known examples of these are with kind of paintings, sort of paints and coatings. So a lot of these are used to sort of prevent wear and tear. Prevent corrosion, especially in scenarios where you've got a product or kind of a system that is in a very extreme environment. So like, for example, would be like a windfarm where you've got wind turbines that sort of gets exposed to really extreme conditions and can get damaged. And in order to repair it, it's both kind of expensive, but also can be sort of quite risky and a hazard to human health. There are a lot of people are looking at how you might be able to apply these to those kinds of scenarios. But more specifically within our project, we I've always been quite interested in kind of consumer products. And and there's a lot of, I think, interesting ideas that we can explore. One idea exploring the moment is this idea of it being used within refurbish and re manufacture. And so the idea is that you can apply some kind of casing. And what it would do is, you know, a product can go out into into the world to be used by a user and then sort of be collected and then sort of undergo some kind of treatment, which would then make it sort of back into a like new condition. That's that's sort of one application we're exploring. Another one is is actually batteries and fuel cells. So some very, very clever chemists. And our project he woke up in Lancaster are applying these to inside different kinds of batteries. And essentially what this would do was this is extend the lifetime of that battery, because inside batteries, the energy, they degrade over time every time that something is charged and recharged and discharged. So those are so kind of some of the applications that we're exploring. But kind of more broadly, there's loads of really great research projects within the UK and within within the EU that sort of applying these in different spaces. There's a great Netherlands project that's making self-cleaning asphalt and so it's, you know, kind of prevent potholes from forming because a self-feeding concrete is being put into bridges as the sort of feel testing at the moment, which is which is really interesting. Yeah, we we we think there are lots of really great, great examples and cool applications out there that this material could be useful for.

Katie Whalen [00:26:16] Yeah, I think it's the fuel cells. One is is a very cool example in terms of extending the lifetime of a product while in use, and it's also kind of like the concrete one. So it doesn't even have to come out of service really to be able to just last longer, which I see a lot of applications and connections to the circular economy. I'm curious in terms of like the if other side effects from using these types of self healing materials.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:26:55] So that's a very good question. And that's kind of one of the one of the questions that we're asking inside our projects of why I'm so glad that we are part of this multidisciplinary project. You know, because we've got people on our team who are making the materials and sort of my job, a V.A. job, is to sort of interrogate them and ask them, you know, how will this work inside Circular economy? Can this material be recycled? Can it be recycled? If you're adding a biologic component like bacteria into a synthetic material, does this mean that this material is now part of the techniques or is it part the biosphere? And so at the moment, these kinds of things aren't really known. But a lot of these materials, they're sort of that's kind of field testing phase. But in terms of them being rolled out more comprehensively. A lot of these questions still need to be to be figured out. And I think that's kind of that sort of what we see as our job of trying to ask these questions right now. But definitely at least some of the polymers that self heal, the ones that heal intrinsically, I'm actually a lot and could just be cyclical on say one of the tests that we like to do in the future is sort of damaged them, heal them and then recycle them and then see if they still heal after they recycle. But yes, some of the plastics, they're actually very, very similar to a lot of the conventional plastics that we have right now. They're just that the chemistry in them is just a little bit altered, which makes himself feel I'm actually there are some some of these polymers are available commercially. And and you combine them, you combine them right now. But a lot of them, they're not really advertised as being self healing. That's something that sort of I think designers and engineers, you know, we need to get them using these materials and understanding these materials so we can find, you know, those great applications for them.

Katie Whalen [00:28:56] Do you see this being put into design, education or collaborations with designers in practice to actually inform them about this? Or is it more and sort of the academic institutions right now?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:29:12] I think a little bit both to be honest. I mean, that's something I'd definitely like to do, is to engage people more on these kinds of materials. I mean, the way I think about self-feeding materials is they're basically just like another form of smart materials.

[00:29:27] And so, you know, things like shape, memory, polymers and stuff, you know, these are things that people are aware of, but they're not really designed with that much. And you know, what I'd quite like to do is to engage with, you know, people and universities. Base is industry and in academia that sort of have material libraries. And and I think mature libraries are a really great way of getting designers and engineers, you know, involved with materials and understand how to use them. I think the space for for this conversation to keep going. And that's something that from police, from all sort of academic perspective we're trying to sort of contribute to materials is such an interesting idea at the moment. And this seems to be this kind of innovation, Ray. These are around materials right now, especially around things, fire based materials. And so it seems to be a really hot topic and say I'm I'm really happy that it's kind of going in that direction and especially within sort of circular economy and sort of sustainability conversations as well.

Katie Whalen [00:30:33] I think it definitely has a role to play, especially after what you've been explaining in terms of what they can do to help her long and even maybe prolong the life times of different products and also maybe even create some more emotional attachment to your products. If we're using products that, you know, age with materials that age with grace or that they are self self healing in a way that we can continue to reuse them. I'm curious, like, how long do you think before we see this sort of in the day to day from what you're saying, it kind of feels like it's out. It's already being incorporated, but not at sort of its full potential. So is this something that maybe in the next 10 years or 20 years or five years, do you think that a lot of significant attention might be starting to be put to these types of materials, especially in the topic of Circular economy?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:31:36] I think probably, you know what it'll be it'll be some will get there faster than others. And I think in sort of more day to day products, I think we're looking probably more like 10, 15 years.

[00:31:51] And a lot of that is down to just sort of standard technology diffusion in terms of how, you know, an innovation sort of makes it in to industry and makes it into the marketplace. But perhaps, as you know, people are becoming more sustainability and circular economy focused instead of in government and then sort of day to day life that might be sort of an increased demand for these kinds of materials. So, yeah, I don't think we'll see them day to day. I mean, there some sort of if there's one or two products out there, there's a self healing tire that you can buy right now. And I think there'll be these odd one or two products out there that do do this. But in terms of it being in sort of day to day use, I think we're looking more like 15, 10, 15, 20 and something on a super cool.

Katie Whalen [00:32:43] I would love to have an overview of all these cases as there is something like that widely available or do you know, like a Web site that has different overviews of these self healing materials and actual examples that some of the ones that you even talked about today?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:33:01] Not. Not that I'm aware of. This has kind of been a process of my own research in terms of understanding these materials, and I'm running a session on self healing, giving an overview on self healing.

[00:33:15] The next Ellen MacArthur Foundation event in sort of December. But after that, I think we're hoping to publish in terms of showing these examples. That's definitely something that we'll be doing next year. But what are the things that we hope to do again for the end of next year, beginning of the the year after that is try and run some kind of exhibition where we can showcase some of these these outputs that we find. But yeah, if that comes along, I'll let you know.

Katie Whalen [00:33:41] Yeah, definitely. Because I think what I would personally be interested in in seeing this, but I'm also sure that some of the listeners would be interested in looking at or even going to the exhibition or or whatever it kind of ends up becoming. So just definitely let me know and then I can forward the information to the Getting in the Loop Podcast listeners.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:34:06] Sure, no problem.

Katie Whalen [00:34:08] We can even have you back on to talk about the work that you've done since then.

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:34:12] Uh, yeah, I'd be very happy to.

Katie Whalen [00:34:14] Yeah. So one of the questions I ask all of the guests after they have come on the podcast is if they could create an event for the in the loop game, which is a serious game that I created about material specifically they're a little bit more like technology material, so rare earths antimony, things like that. But there is about materials and how we acquire these materials and also how companies produce products related to these materials and then different business strategies that they can use to rethink how they could actually extend the life times of these materials and not just put them, for example, to incineration or to landfill. So the events in the game, they changed the market conditions. And in terms of making the materials available or also just interfering with kind of how the how the companies are doing, the events can be good or bad, but they're often linked to real world happenings or inspired by real world events. Guests often link this to a vision that they have for the future. So my question for you, Merryn, is if you could create an event for this for the In the Loop game, what kind of focus would you have for this event?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:35:36] Say, I've been thinking about this, and I think for me in terms of my interest, it definitely, definitely be about a sort of enforced product's longevity. So it basically where planned obsolescence in this future is now completely legal and all products must be designed to last at least 25 years. Otherwise, there would be sort of huge fines. I thought that might be kind of interesting idea because, you know, if you think about all products, you think about a fashion, consumer electronics, maybe even fast moving consumer goods like sort of food and that kind of thing. If you had to design and everything to last that long, how would that change the way that we can sort of do business models around it, you know, use what materials would be used if we were doing that? I thought that would be sort of an interesting and interesting scenario.

Katie Whalen [00:36:27] Yeah. Definitely. That would. I'm just thinking about how that would affect the game, the game play as well, and there will definitely be a clear incentive for people to be using these circular economy strategies in the game, but also in reality if if what you said was actually enforced. So it would definitely encourage us and provide incentive for us to use these types of self healing materials and also design with an emotionally durable design perspective. So I really like your event. Thank you. Okay, so before we go out, first of all, I would like to thank you so much for coming on Getting in the Loop podcast, but I would like to make sure that our listeners can find out more about you and the topics that we discussed. So where could listeners go if they want to get in touch with you or learn more about emotionally durable design or self healing materials?

Merryn Haines-Gadd [00:37:24] Sure. So we have a project website which is manufacturingimmortality.com. Go on then. We sort of gives us an overview of our products and everyone involved. My email is up there as well. So if I've said anything that you find particularly interesting, please do email. I'd be really happy to talk to anybody who's interested in these kinds of ideas, but also feel free to come and find me on LinkedIn as well. I'd be again happy to chat with anybody who's interested.

Katie Whalen [00:37:58] Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode. For show notes and links, go to our website at GettingInTheLoopPodcast.com. And while you're there, subscribe to our mailing list to have new episodes delivered to your inbox every Monday. See you next week.

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About the Show

Getting In the Loop is a weekly podcast dedicated to exploring how to transform to a more circular society. Join host Katie Whalen as she examines the challenges facing our current resource use and discovers alternatives to the ‘take, make, dispose’ way of doing things. Each week she interviews circular economy experts about what they’re doing and learning. Together we'll uncover what circular economy means in practice and find out what's being done to keep our resources in a loop rather than sent to waste.

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