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.


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



The Tempus Toaster by Sam Whitaker



återställa Kettle by Daniel Carpenter

render 1.2 open lid


LUME by Daniel Allcock



Induction Toaster and Kettle by Harry Bryant



Pluma Kettle by Joseph Baxter



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