The People’s Design Lab

The Lab is a place where we can come together and help design change. A laboratory for ordinary folk, experimenting with design.  It’s a place for people who care about recycling and reuse to talk to the industries who create “stuff” in the first place and to say “look, we’re doing our bit, what about you?”

We need solutions for the products that are left after we’ve recycled, composted, reused and repaired.  That’s why we bring together a new design team; professional designers, manufacturers, students, fixperts and ourselves who are just frustrated by what ends up in our bins.  Together, we are The People’s Design Lab.

Between us … and from our PDL Vision Diagramdifferent backgrounds, we thought it was time for the community to tell designers and industry what they think about products that create waste and to work in partnership to come up with better ways of doing things.


To make a real difference, The People’s Design Lab needs people like you. To join you just need to:

  • Register, nominate and vote on products when we hold a People’s Design Award redesign cycle.
  • Then we’ll ask you to vote again to pick the winners from the top products.
  • There will then be opportunities to take part in redesign sessions on the ground or online to together find ways of designing out waste
  • We will engage the manufacturer where possible in constructive conversations or alternatively lobby or input into needed policy change areas.
  • Ultimately aiming to get positive changes implemented that support a move towards zero waste a circular economy and better use of resources.

We know that it isn’t always easy to get waste out of products, so we’re also celebrating those designs that do, inviting you to nominate for the Best Zero Waste designs.  And of course we need you to join the Good Design Debate.

nesta finalist logoThe People’s Design Lab was one of six finalists in Nesta’s Waste Reduction Challenge Prize in 2013.  Following our conference last year we are now shaping what happens next. For the long term, we see ourselves as a social enterprise and research centre, with collective ownership and with all profit reinvested to make Zero Waste design a reality.  Join us!