Electronics have become increasingly prominent in our everyday lives, yet the general public doesn't fully grasp their environmental implications.
According to the Global E-Waste Monitor 2017, electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream and accounts for 44.7m metric tonnes of waste the equivalent of 4,500 Eiffel towers.
REWARE is a collection of educational tools that aim to question the status quo of electronic consumption; encouraging the everyday consumer to rethink their consumption of these products and reconnect with their material significance. Repair and modularity of products being the main approach explored.
This website works as an open resource to share this work, that can be replicated and works as a small portal to other resources.
REWARE is a project by designer Isabelle Chaligné.
Electronic waste needs to be properly handled as it contains toxic chemicals that can harm the environment and human health. However it's not all doom and gloom; electronics is also a huge source of potential as it contains many sought after precious materials such as gold, silver and tantalum among many others. In addition to this, there are many ways we could reuse, transform and maintain these devices before breaking them down into raw materials for recycling.
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A series of repair workshops were run in April 2019 to teach people how to fix their cracked mobile screens themselves in a relaxed and collective environment. The workshops were used as a platform to spark debate on how products are designed and what can be done to improve a product's sustainability.
This was overseen by professional repairers from Brockley Tech who shared their skills and knowledge of repair with the participants.
Learn more about the right to repair here and why it is important.
By learning what it takes to fix, and taking things appart you understand the complexity of a product.
Steps to run your own repair community/event:
1. Find a local space suited for the size of your event (library, home, community centers)
2. Use repair manuals online like iFixit, repair youtube videos or collaborate with someone who has repair skills
3. Purchase or borrow the appropriate repair tools
4. Share your event to learn with others
"A deconstructed bluetooth speaker that aims to highlight the need for more repairable and understandable products."
The speakerboard started off with the idea of reuse of electronic waste: how can we be creative with the old and give birth to new products? Inspired by the replacement of parts approach practiced in repair stores, I discovered how often, a product could become functional again by replacing a single part. Certain projects use this approach on a more ambitious scale like Project Ara by Google (discontinued) and Fairphone using electronic parts as their building blocks.
I decided to look beyond making a speaker that would be closed off, difficult to fix and replace by creating an object that was simple to disassemble and transparent about its functioning. The circuit remains while the object takes on different forms allows with the option of having more or less speaker drivers and being a fixed or portable object.
The new speakers were made from discarded speaker doc drivers and old lighting cables.
A compilation of quotes from professionals working in the sectors of electronic manufacturing, non-for-profit, recycling, repair and policy-making.
The audio discusses how we manage electronic goods with a focus on design, product end of life and repair. It also discusses what still needs to be done to find solutions for our growing amounts of e-waste.
5 min COMPILATION HERE:
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
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As a co-founder of the Restart Project, Ugo supports the right to repair. He believes that electronic manufacturers should provide wider access to repair manuals and spare parts and that legislation should be enforced to encourage best practice in the creation of more sustainable electronics.
Robert is head of sector for energy efficient products at the EU Commission. Through policy his team works on Ecodesign and energy efficiency legislation to improve performance and durability of products. The commission is currently working on addressing durability in their criteria for ecodesign.