PLATE keynote speakers:

Kirsi Niinimaki

Fast or Slow? Fashion Lifecycles in a Circular Economy Context

Kirsi Niinimäki is Associate Professor in Fashion research in Aalto University.

Her research focuses on holistic understanding of sustainable fashion and textile fields and connections between design, manufacturing, business models and consumption.

In Aalto University Kirsi runs the Fashion/Textile Futures research group. The research group is involved in several significant research projects, which integrate closed loop, bioeconomy and circular economy approaches in fashion and textile systems. Kirsi is widely published in top scientific journals. Moreover she has also been a visiting researcher in TU Delft and TU Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Oklahoma State University in the USA and in EWHA University in South-Korea.

James Pierce

Speculation, Durability, and Design

James Pierce is lecturer in the Jacobs Institute for Design innovation at UC Berkeley and research affiliate at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication. He has longstanding research interests in sustainable design, speculative design, design theory, and everyday social practices. His most recent research interests include the Internet of Things, network anxieties, and ghosts. James has published over 50 articles in top conferences and journals spanning the fields of design research, human-computer interaction, and ubiquitous computing. James work frequently overlaps with art practice and the humanities. His worked has been awarded numerous best paper awards. Previously James worked as Research Scientist and Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media. James has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Human-Computer Interaction, and a Master’s Degree in Interaction Design from Indiana University Bloomington.nability.
Deepali Sinha-Khetriwal

Product Longevity: Insights from the Indian Context and Experience

Deepali is an Associate Programme Officer at the United Nations University and also heads the Indian office of sustainability consultancy Sofies. Deepali has over 12 years of research and implementation experience in waste management, specializing in e-waste and has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals on the topic. She has worked as an expert consultant in Europe, Asia and Africa for international organisations as well as private sector companies. She was instrumental in setting up the capacity development activities of the StEP Initiative, a UN supported forum on the e-waste problem. She holds a PhD in International Management from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland.

Ruud Balkenende

Circular Product Design: Make, Use, Save

Ruud Balkenende joined the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering in 2015, as the world’s first Circular Product Design professor. He started his career at Philips Research, where he has been active at the interface of technological innovation and business applications. In the course of 25 years he dealt with a wide diversity of products, usually from a materials and technology perspective.

Since 2009 he has been mainly involved in research and development related to materials scarcity and product recyclability. Linking product architecture and materials science to resource efficiency was the main driver. He has set up and coordinated international collaboration on improved recyclability of electronic products. This has resulted in design guidelines as well as new products with improved recyclability. Since 2013 his activities extended from recyclability to circular economy, i.e. reusing products or parts at a functional level instead of recovering materials. Here he was involved in establishing the Philips strategy, focusing on the technological framework for implementation in product design.


PLATE 2017 embraced a multi-disciplinary perspective including design, geography, history, anthropology and culture, technology, business, economics, marketing, consumer behaviour, law and public policy. Contributions addressed the following and related themes:

  1. Design for product longevity
  2. The role of product lifetimes in resource efficiency
  3. Product lifetimes optimization
  4. Cultural perspectives on the throwaway society
  5. Circular economy and product lifetimes
  6. Business opportunities, economic implications and marketing strategies
  7. Consumer influences on product lifetimes, including repair and reuse
  8. Policy, regulation and legislation

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