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Katrine Hesseldahl

PhD Work

Component wear and consumer experience for the circular economy

MA work

Strata Pace Layer Products

Strata Pace Layer Products
A new way of buying, owning and designing furniture.

The purpose of this project is to make an intervention in the current systems of fast paced furniture consumption. The current model of frequently buying, using and discarding products is having a negative effect on the environment and putting strain on increasingly scarce resources. Instead we are proposing a more circular model.

Different parts of products have different life expectancies, leading to products being discarded as soon as one part is broken or outdated. By changing the perception of products from stand-alone, composed entities, to seeing them as connected layers of meaning and material with different life expectancies, Strata Pace Layer Products offers users a possibility for renewing and personalising their home without compromising the environment. In order to implement the system intervention we have developed a “Logic of Layers”, which is a recipe or protocol for how products can be designed to fit in a circular system. The Logic of Layers separates products into fast and slow layers, looking at the criteria that each type of layer should fulfil to be more environmentally responsible, as well as offering personalised solutions. “Skin Layers” are fast, customisable and should be super-recyclable. These are the top layers of products that users frequently interact with, and often the layers in conventional products with the shortest life-expectancy, which cause users to discard them. “Base Layers” are slow, and usually make up the inner parts of the product. They are resilient, long lasting, and robust. In between we have middle layers.

To explore, develop and express the Logic of Layers we have developed both a physical product, a furniture system, with each layer designed to fit the logic, and a service/business model that explores how the products can be accessed by customers.


  • PhD


    Materials Science Research Centre


    Materials Science Research Centre PhD, 2019–

  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Design Products, 2017



  • Katrine started her PhD project with the Burberry Material Futures Research Group (BMFRG) in 2019. The primary aim of her project is to establish a framework for designing consumer experiences that contribute to a circular economy by inviting and empowering consumers to participate in closing the material circles. She intends to establish this framework through a practice-based project, through designing a collection of key garments which are developed to work according to a circular model of manufacturing and use. By designing a collection of garments, she intends to map out the key moments in a product’s lifecycle where users can contribute to the circular flow. The resulting framework will take the form of a set of guidelines intended to inform future design practice. 

    Katrine's work aims to intrigue, interest and invite people to take steps in the direction towards a more sustainable, fair, fun and beautiful future for our society. She is deeply concerned with the scale and complexity of the problems we are facing today, e.g. climate changes, overuse of resources, social inequality, and feels a natural responsibility to be part of creating solutions for these problems.

  • Degrees

  • BA Industrial Design, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, 2014; MA Design Products, Royal College of Art, 2017
  • Experience

  • Visiting researcher, Burberry Material Futures Research Group, London, 2019; User experience designer, Intelligent Mobility Design Centre, London, 2018 - 2019; Workshop co-creater and co-facilitator, Circular IKEA 2025, IKEA, Delft, 2017; Research associate, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, London, 2017; Maker in residence, British Council, “Hello Shenzhen” exchange project, British Council, Shenzhen, 2017; Design intern, WRAP, Banbury, 2016
  • Exhibitions

  • Recycling. Sorted. (Fix Our City: The London Design Festival), Machines Room, London, 2016; Hello Shenzhen UK Makers, British Council, OCAT, Shenzhen, 2017
  • Awards

  • Realys Design Award for Work Futures, Helen Hamlyn Design Awards, 2017; Robin & Lucienne Day Prize, Royal College of Art Graduate Show, 2017
  • Conferences

  • Space – A Layered Approach to Space Habitat Interior Designs, International Astronautical Congress, International Astronautical Federation, September 2017; Strata Space – a layered approach to interior designs, International Astronautical Congress, International Astronautical Federation, September 2017; Curating Opportunities', Eleventh International Conference on The Inclusive Museum, The Inclusive Museum, September 2018; 'Using Design Thinking to Develop New Methods of Inclusive Exhibition Making', Universal Design & Higher Education in Transformation Congress, UDHEIT, October–November 2018
  • Publications

  • Katrine Hesseldahl, Chris McGinley, Georgia Monk, Using Design Thinking to Develop New Methods of Inclusive Exhibition Exhibition Making, Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Volume 256, 2018, p.151 - 160