Transparency examines the barriers to repair and upgradeability within household electronic items.
This project focuses on household electronic waste which is the fastest growing waste sector in the UK. I wanted to examine the factors which contribute to this rising waste, and how they can be prevented through design intervention.
My research lead me to investigate the right to repair movement, whose aim it is to change global legislation to remove barriers around self repair in domestic appliances and beyond. I also got involved with local repair cafe groups in order to explore first hand the barriers that consumers face when attempting repair.
These insights led me to re-design a series of objects commonly brought into the repair cafe. These objects are designed to remove the intimidation users may feel about practicing repair on their goods. I have used semi-permanent fixings, colour co-ordinated parts and transparent casings in order to empower and inspire individuals to disassemble and repair products.
Repair, Right to Repair, Planned obsolescence
- Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?
The sustainable act of repair is challenged by current social and cultural norms based around consumption. These norms are artificially perpetuated through a capitalist model of consumption and production.
My design aims to empower and educate users on the accessibility and importance of repair as a practice to extend the lifecycle of personally owned goods.
- Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?
My design aims to encourage repair and maintenance which are both found in the inner most rings of the technical cycle within a circular economy model.
- Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?
My design aims to challenge the unsustainable practice of planned obsolescence. 'Transparency' is a double entendre, also alluding to the the sense of transparency delivered by a product that is honest in how it can be repaired and maintained to last as long as possible.
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