A Simulation Game for Eco-Effective Design

Simplycycle Data


SIMPLYCYCLE is a simulation game teaching principles and implementation of an eco-effective design philosophy. This game is especially inspired  by the design concept of Cradle to Cradle®. (Cradle to Cradle® is a registered Trademark of EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH and McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry, LLC).

Eco-effective design mimics the cycles of nature. Products are designed in the way that at the end of their use time they can be easily broken down into recyclable parts and compostable parts. Put simply: cycle all materials.

There are three levels in the game. Level 1 has information and procedures that are necessary to set the course for cyclical metabolism. In Level 2 factors are named that support the continuous flow of material. In level 3 finally the bigger picture is seen, the product cycles are linked with other cycles.

Level 1 Set the course for cyclical metabolism

Level 2 Factors that support continuous flow of material

Level 3 Seeing the bigger picture, linking with other cycles


  • The game raises awareness about harmful substances in everyday life products and also about different mindset of environmental problem solving. 
  • Players will also get an insight in our interdependence with nature.
  • The players can test their knowledge and make the first steps of experiences with eco-effective design.
  • The simulation prepares for the implementation of own projects.



  • The main benefit of the game is to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Critical reflection of  the paradigm efficiency in comparison to eco-effectiveness.
  • Guiding principles for playing help the teams to be creative and learn to cooperate and be appreciative with ideas of others.
  • Understand how to bring eco-effective design into practice.


Basic Data

Playing time: 30 minutes up to 3 hours, time can be adapted to own time table

Languages available: German, English, Dutch

Number of players: 3-30 participants

This game is to play in groups of 3-6 people at one game board; up to 6 game boards can be supervised by one moderator.

Moderation needed with an insight in eco-effective design.

Moderation and Train-the-Trainer available on request.

Playing Material

Product Cards

Products in the game show different everyday life products. They contain information about material, risks in the ingredients  (health risks, environmental risks), risks in production process, water- and energy usage, matters of social fairness and recycling possibilities.

Expert Cards

For each product there is an expert card with an idea how you could change it.

Action Cards

Action Cards have different levels of complexity. They trigger to rethink and also provide the frame. They support a step by step learning.

Cycle Cards

The idea of these cards is to push creativity and to show our interdependence with nature.

Game Board

The game board shows the usual linear production - take-make-waste - and the two cycles for eco-effective design: technical cycle and biological cycle.