SOLUTION – 'Pre-Use' – Find And Implement Existing Circular Modularity In Your Environement


Pre-Use means to use objects for something different than what they are intended for but leave them completely intact so that the initial use is still possible!

Pre-Use points to existing cases of circular modularity in our already built world!

In this topic we want to grow an open collection of Pre-Use examples and we invite you to contribute to it or play with it.

Quick Examples

more below

A flower pot serves as an outside ashtray, a jar as a vase, a deposit bottle as a sugar dispenser

UPDATE: Here is a whole house!

Water pipes serve as a desk stand or sports device

Chess figures made from nuts and bolts

scaffolding without holes

boards connected with belts

Get Active!

(1) Learn More

Read more about Pre-Use, it’s origins and implications for Circularity and circular design here:


(2) Add To The Collection

As said above, pls. contribute by sharing links or images in the comments below and help us to grow a collection. (Here is a little methodology suggestion ‘how to look’)

(3) Implement It

(For example as part of a local event.) Like this:

  • Present It: You can use this topic with examples and the link to the blogpost about Pre-Use as a slideshow to explain the idea to workshop participants. Then brainstorm with them more ideas. Try to find images, create them and contribute collectively to the collection of this place. | Update: In comment 10 you can find a methodology to run a 2 hour workshop research session on Pre-Use.

  • Equip A Space: Need to decorate or equip a space? Invite ppl. to brainstorm a complete Pre-Use version for everything. If you don’t have a space to equip take a space that is about to open in your city (for example from the government), make a Pre-Use plan and send it over to them.

  • Had another idea? Pls. share it.


via @LesUsines_Louise (here)


A pipe holder as curtain support (seen at ZK/U Berlin)

A street light to light an indoor staircase (seen at ZK/U Berlin)

A brick as part of a board - still good to be used as a brick - or for example as a base for a lamp

Parts built with a unified grid are somehow always in ‘Pre-Use’ (see also related forum topic)

Escalator Stairs as Real Stairs (Seen at ‘Deutsches Museum’ Munich Germany)

A temporary bench made by the architecture collective BellaStock

Off shore water tanks as temporary water park | Work by BellaStock, created at ZK/U Berlin Summer 2017

Iglu from EUR pallets | Seen at Astana (Kasachstan) during the Expo 2017

Somewhat close to Pre-Use: A bench in the largest shopping mall of Astana (Kasachstan)

Le Hugo’ – a Pre-Use modular toy kit for kids by Mifactori made with regular nuts and bolts: If the kid is grown up these parts are still useful.

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##See also: Modularity Collection

Bottle Lab is a good example of Pre-Use for bottles. Not sure if the bottles look good after being used like that for a while. More about Bottle Lab here:

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still good as lego bricks | Lena

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toy, flowerpot, nuts and bolts - all good for their initial use | hiebo 4

also with a brick as a base

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A pot handle as a door knob

stones (bricks) in a cage

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#Pre-Use Research Workshop Methodology

Here is a methodology to run a workshop where you explain ppl. Pre-Use as a concept and have them research more examples.

##:speaking_head: Step A: Talk

Start with a little presentation. Explain:

1 Circular Economy – There you should highlight that it is about saving resources and new designs of products that is more about modularity, reuse, standardization and so on. Find inspiration for it here.

2 Pre-Use – Show /1/ this Blogpost to start with the definition. Then come /2/ to this topic here and go to approx. 10 to 15 quick examples. Then go back to the Blogpost from /1/ and explain the 4 things at the bottom that explain how well Pre-Use and Circularity match.

##:clipboard: Step B: Research Together
Split the group into 3 groups. Each group forms around one tasks. Give the ppl. 1 hour to solve the task. Provide paper and pens.


Working Sheet in :de: german | as .doc Pre-Use Arbeitsblatt Deutsch.doc | as .pdf Pre-Use Arbeitsblatt Deutsch.pdf (32.2 KB)

– STEP 1: Find Examples In Groups –

1 Pre-Use City Tour
Go out into the cities and shops and find active or potential cases of Pre-Use in the city. Look at everything from street-furniture to small objects in shops.

2 Travel Back To Childhood
Kids pre-use things all the time. When they play a flute becomes binoculars, a rubbar band a golden bracelet, a pot a helmet and so on. Pre-Use as pretending. Collect real and possible examples of Kids pre-using things. Do it sitting on a table together or browsing through shops or online cataloges.

3 Pre-Use In Your Home
Find a Pre-use idea you reall want to implement in your home! Something you are going to install when you come home later. Is there something missing in your flat? Maybe a board or something other? Can you come up with a Pre-use solution? Maybe even using something you already have in your home?

– STEP 2: Document –

Create a little sketch for every idea and add a sentence to explain the idea. Take a picture of the sheet and upload it to the pre-use collection in the OSCEdays forum. You can also take pictures – of objects in pre-use and upload those.

If you don’t want to upload them yourself you can send them to this email address with „Pre-use“ as a subject:

– STEP: ReDesign –

If there is still time and you want to do more:

Take a look at your findings. Do they „look good“ or „work good“ for both/all cases? How would a design look like that makes the object good (perfect) for more than just one use case? Describe it on your sheet or on an extra-sheet.

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Post by Mifactori about how to set up a Pre-Use Booth For A Fair

More Images In The Post

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Bike Lamp for a desk lamp?

Seen at a carnival - a colander (for Pasta)

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A few more uploads from images taken with my low quality half blind smartphone camera, sorry for the quality

####PreUse Bench at the Beach

####A PreUse Clothes Rack seen at Infralab Berlin

####PreUse & Bamboo

####Scaffolding Without Holes!


####A bench with hole less scaffolding

####The same ppl. who had installed the scaffolding used old bricks to create a temporary floor in their outside exhibition.


Probably not really to reuse as a bottles afterwards. But somehow still interesting. Seen in Astana.

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Ah, A full pre-use building!

100 percent of this #CoStruction’s materials were borrowed: concrete and wooden beams, lighting, facade elements, glass roof, recycled plastic cladding, even the Pavilion’s glass roof, all are returned completely unharmed.