Sophia Rowland 

Design & Strategy 

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© 2019 Sophia Rowland


This Ikea circular economy design and product redesign utilized insights distilled from the e-waste downstream to redesign Ikea's global supply chain and serve as a model for what an in-house circular economy could look like. 

Designing for an ease in the down stream requires and understanding of disassembly practices.

It was apparent that companies make product difficult to disassemble to protect their IP and save costs.


Screws not glue!

Brian Fox

Itad Division Manager &

Electronic Repair Wizard 


E-waste Downstream Insights

Difficulty Disassembling

is a big problem for electronic recyclers, the effort and time it takes often is a bigger hassle than the value the recycles get back. Labeling is used to make efforts more efficient.

Overwhelming Volumes of E-waste 

makes it difficult for recyclers to keep up, often times making quick, dangerous disposable tactics, such as smelting, the more lucrative .

Companies Acting Irresponsible  

Making products cheaply, intended to be bought frequently and for consumers to buy more than they need to keep current.

Building off Ikea's
Current Model 

Returning products is a common occurrence

Ikea's Global supply chain, consisting of many cheap electronics and their current plan to go green makes them the perfect company to make an impact. 

Benchmark Product: Ikea Rallen  
Product contains extraneous amount of different materials and lengthy disassembly time.

Measuring Current Impact

Highest impact steamed from material extraction, refining, and processing as well as disposal  
Project Goals and Desired outcome

Problem: Mass production treated as a one-way system

Goal: Reduce impact from materials used in the product and extend the usage of the material

Problem: Ikea uses band-aid fixes for a bigger environmental problem    


Goal: Make Ikea the leading example for sustainability and create an engaging user experience   

Problem: Electronic parts are difficult to disassemble  

Goal: Make recycling e-waste as easy, visible and transparent as possible   


Final Design

Ikea Docka & 

Consumer Take Back System


+ Labeled parts

+ Special tool open tabs 

+ Disassembly area 

+ 100% recyclable 

Recycling as Branding 
Recycling as Branding
Makes a material logo that is familiar yet unique to the product.
CMF Strategy

Standardized polypropylene materials enables closed 

loop system

Target Users

Energetic Singles 

Satellite Employees 

Newbie Families

Freshmen Dormers 

Cool Splash

Black Star

Confetti splash



By integrating material with a line of furniture, the amount and variety of material can be reduced.  

Improved Impact Matrix
Existing Ecosystem 
Ecosystem Redesign  



By giving reward point when users return electronics, it encourages consumers to participate in the system and raises brand loyalty