XLabs is designed
with Circular by Design
methodology at its heart –

We are bringing the methodology of Circularity to XLabs.

Animated graphic showing the XLabs Circular by Design method

These methods were developed by Louise Nash (the founder of Circularity), as the key artefact for her Masters of Technological Futures. Drawn from over 250 interviews with leading circular experts around the world and over 1000 case studies of circular innovations, these methods guide and inspire businesses, governments and entrepreneurs to unlock the value potential of the circular economy. At Circularity these methods have been used to unlock collaborative business models, design product stewardship programs, inspire enviro-schools to reimagine plastic and design out one million pieces of polystyrene from the transportation of aluminium windows and doors by radically reimagining manufacturing. They can be used as a toolkit to inspire change, empower action and generate extraordinary ideas. 

Circular by Design methods have been shared as part of our Masterclass programs, circular projects and new venture initiatives. Now we are bringing it to XLabs. Our programme is designed to guide participants through these proprietary methods over a series of workshops – to experiment, imagine and design new solutions to their real-world challenges. Accelerating innovation for a more resilient future in six simple steps.

If you are looking to explore circular thinking and unlock solutions alongside experts, communities and partners in a fast-paced, design sprint style - join us at XLabs.  This is our annual collaborative workshop series.

Register your interest
Together – Creating a future more Circular by Design
Method 1:

Closed Loop Systems

Mirroring nature toradically redesign the system for optimal resource use.

In nature there is no waste. The waste of one becomes the food of another. How can everything we make be unmade? How can we mirror nature and keep materials in flow to optimise their value by collecting, delivering, cleaning, grinding and disassembling technical materials to be restored, reused, while growing, feeding, extracting and composting our biological materials? How might we keep these flows separate and in closed loops?

Explore Haka Tourism Group’s closed loop system here
Two people on notes on a table with XLabs course resources in front of them
Woman in grey XLabs tshirt demonstrating yellow machinery to XLabs sprint participants
Method 2:

Smart Materials

Radically redesigning with renewable materials to regenerate our living systems.

Smart materials are the raw materials/feedstock that products and packaging are created from – substrates that cause no harm to human health or the environments they operate in. Smart biomaterials can be grown for purpose, sequester carbon, return to the Earth as food or be used infinitely. If we are to ensure that we practice Kaitiakitanga - guardianship of our lands and protection of all living creatures, we need to explore how we might radically redesign with new materials that cause no harm.

Explore the Advanced Floating Platforms case study link here
3 people sitting on outside on grass brainstorming at XLabs
Method 3:


Influencing, rewarding and socialising behaviours that regenerate natural resources.

These are human behaviours required to continually care for and sustain living systems. Including composting food waste to regenerate soils, planting trees to sequester carbon, collecting litter from beaches, travelling in low carbon transport vehicles and purchasing products that offer regenerative benefits. For many businesses this is their aha moment when they align the values of their customers to their purpose.

Explore EV Maritime's case study link here
3 people sitting on grass under trees writing on paper
XLabs Founder Louise Nash laughing with XLabs presenter discussing circular business models
Method 4:

Business Models

Applying new circular business models to optimise resource value creation through services, sharing and  recommerce.

Five circular business models can unlock new value in the circular economy that allows for economic development to operate within natural resource limits and enable customers to do more with less. New value includes the creation of circular supplies, products as services, sharing of assets, product life extension and resource recovery.

Explore the Bobux case study link hereExplore the Fletcher case study link here
Method 5:


Scaling the impact of collective action by leveraging the power of networks.

Through the network effects of digital platforms, we are seeing authentic connection scaling up impact. It's an approach that can connect communities with a challenge, to other groups that can solve it. This is where grassroots meets big business and where the start-up scales their impact.

Explore The ReCreators case study link here
Four people standing around a table working through the XLabs method
Man wearing headphones remotely working through XLabs LEARN on laptop
Method 6:


Embedding intelligence to authenticate data flows across stakeholders in the system.

Emerging disruptive technologies like Blockchain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality can help provide the necessary 'infrastructure' required to authenticate performance, protect resources and improve customer satisfaction.

Explore the Arrive case study link here

The first chapter –

XLabs Tamaki Makaurau
AKL 2020
For the Auckland chapter, we designed the program to start with teams mapping their system, understanding their impact on the living and human health of this system, then begin to radically redesign solutions made from nature and inspired by nature.

Each day was designed as an immersive experience around the methods, from the expert presentations, the exercises the teams undertook to expand and shift mindsets, to the food that was consumed.

XLabs presentation screen showing Circular by Design resource used in each lab

Watch the videos from each day to explore this approach and how the teams engaged with this program to deliver -

The program  -

Day 1:

Love the Problem, close the loop

– Exploring closed loop systems
Day 2:

Grow our World

– Exploring smart materials...
Day 3:

New Business Models

– Exploring circular business models
Day 4:

The Digital Frontier

– Exploring networked participation...
XLabs crew pitching via zoomEX maritime presentation of circular solution as shown on ipadAuckland Transport prototype and pitch for their circular solution for the transport industry
Day 5-7:

Prototype & Pitch

As we entered lockdown we shifted the teams to weekly Zoom sessions as we developed storyboards for their ideas, prototyped solutions and hosted a pitch day where they shared their solutions in front of their stakeholders and potential funders.

You bring your challenges and we bring a proven program to solve them together.
Get in touch