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Office chairs in circular business models
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Industrial Ecology.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This is a master’s thesis project of 30 credits written with guidance from the Swedish research institute ICT Viktoria and Industrial Ecology at KTH. This thesis is conducted by two students at KTH, one with a background in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Ecology and the other with a background in Energy and Environmental Technology. This study focuses on circular economy linked to the furniture industry in Sweden and how the transition from theoretical to practical concepts can be improved.

The methods of this thesis consist of three semi-structured interviews, a survey and an analytical comparative literature review. The interviews, survey and literature review is analyzed with the purpose of finding important criteria relevant for office chairs in circular business models. The interviews are performed face-to-face with three different key persons; an office supply manager, a CEO at a refurbishing company and a product manager.

The study focuses on product design within the Swedish furniture industry although some aspects regarding circular business models, logistics and psychological values are included.

The results are design criteria for office chairs in circular business models and a design evaluation program for the industry built on these. The program, based on multi criteria analysis, can help reduce the gap between theory and practice of how circular economy should be implemented in the industry. By giving early feedback during the design phase on how well an office chair and a company’s structure meet circular economy criteria the authors hope to ease and speed up this transition.

The main characteristics of an office chair designed for circular business models are:

  • Durable

  • Easy to service

  • Adaptable

  • Modular

  • Homogeneous material composition in modules

    Although the transition to circular business models can be a comprehensive process the authors believe that if furniture manufacturers would integrate circular business models for office chairs into their business structure this would be both economically viable and highly beneficial for their environmental profile which can strengthen their position on the market. 
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
, TRITA-IM-EX 2016:07, 07
Keyword [en]
Product design for Circular economy, sustainable furniture, remanufacturing, recycling, maintaining, reusing, adaptivity, modularity
National Category
Environmental Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-187099OAI: diva2:928925
Available from: 2016-05-17 Created: 2016-05-17 Last updated: 2016-05-17Bibliographically approved

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