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Discover more about the Circular Economy through Making Circles, a schools project led by Ostrero, supported by National Museums Scotland.

Design approaches

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimate that it is at the design stage that 'around 80% of environmental impacts are determined'.  School children working with Ostrero designed everything with the Circular Economy in mind to improve the environmental impact of their products.

In the Making Circles Project, pupils from Primary 2 to Third Year worked with professional designer-makers silversmith Bryony Knox and ceramicist Mella Shaw. They designed products to prevent waste and to ensure they lasted. 

They followed five Circular Design approaches:

1. Designing for disassembly

Designing things so they are easy to fix, update and recycle at the end of their life. 

Fixing material with clips so they can be easily disassembled



2. Transforming waste to value

Using materials like old bouncy castles to create new products.

Umbrella bag showing waste products used to create value

3. Multi-functional

Creating multi-functional products so that one set of materials does more than one thing.

Children presenting ideas in a workshop

A bag cushion using one set of materials for two different functions

4. Inspired by Nature

In nature there is very little waste. Plants and animals can provide inspiration for circular design.

Inspired by an owl, the Glower Bag has eyes that light up at night


5. Powered by renewable energy

Incorporating solar panels or wind turbines to generate energy from renewable sources. 

This solar-powered ice-lolly holder uses solar energy to keep your ice-lolly cool.

Pupil designs for a Circular Economy

Discover more of the products designed by pupils below.

  • 2.19 A Windmill On This Phone Case Recharges Your Phone With Renewable Energy (1)

    A windmill on this phone case recharges your phone with renewable energy.

  • 2.18 Tiny Detachable Windmill Provides Renewable Energy

    Tiny detachable windmill provides renewable energy.

  • 2.17 A Windmill On This Bag Creates Renewable Energy To Charge Your Phone

    A windmill on this bag creates renewable energy to charge your phone.

  • 2.16 A Solar Powered Ice Lolly Holder Creates Energy To Keep Your Lolly Cool

    A solar powered ice lolly holder creates energy to keep your lolly cool.

  • 2.15 Solar Panel Eyes Inspired By An Owl Light This Bag Up At Night

    Solar panel eyes inspired by an owl light this bag up at night.

  • 2.14 Phone Case Design Inspired By The Form Of A Penguin

    Phone case design inspired by the form of a penguin.

  • 2.13 Inspired By Nature Bag Includes Seeds To Grow Wildflowers And Attract Bees

    Inspired by nature bag includes seeds to grow wildflowers and attract bees.

  • 2.10 Multi Fuctional Reversible Bag For Rainy Days

    Multi-functional reversible bag for rainy days.

  • 2.9 Multi Functional Design Of An Easel That Transforms Into A Guitar

    Multi-functional design of an easel that transforms into a guitar.

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