Design for Repair: Improving Product Lifetime

In my academic role as a Senior Lecturer in Product Design at NTU, I've just finished running a Design for Longerlife project with Second Year BA (Hons) Product Design students at NTU. We kicked the project off with a one day exercise that required the students to disassemble a cheap Toaster or Kettle, costing no more than £10.

dfpl

We introduced the students to AutoDesks' Sustainability Workshop 'Design for Product Lifetimes' guidance materials to appraise the Toasters & Kettles, in an attempt to imagine improvements we could make (since we wanted people to be able to repair or upgrade these types of cheap toasters and kettles). We learned very quickly that there are loads of easy improvements that designers can make, so that kettles and toasters could be easily repaired.

toaster parts

The Autodesk Design Academy tools are fantastic and give us a real headstart in a project like this. It's no secret amongst those that know me well, that I've long been a fan of the @ecoworkshop and all the work that Dawn and the team do there. In my view, there really isn't anything that compares in terms of practical and theoretical contributions to sustainable design.

The project lasted for 4 weeks and culminated this week in a range of fantastic concept designs for repairable toasters and kettles. They were SO good, that I thought I'd include a few examples of them below:

 

The Core Toaster concept by Joe Parker

Core Toaster by Joe Parker NTU

 

StyLess Kettle by Chan Hey Yung

kettle

 

The Tempus Toaster by Sam Whitaker

Tempus

 

återställa Kettle by Daniel Carpenter

render 1.2 open lid

 

LUME by Daniel Allcock

1

 

Induction Toaster and Kettle by Harry Bryant

main

 

Pluma Kettle by Joseph Baxter

pluma

 

Jamie Billing

I am Technical Director & Co-Founder of Co-oproduct. I spend most of my time thinking about how design can be more useful to the world and I make my own Cider, from my own apple tree! You can find out more about me in our 'About Us' pages.

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