A growing need to Redesign and Repair Design (Particularly responding to its historical and current contribution to Climate Change, Carbon and e-waste)
Over the last years, I’ve realised that pretty much my whole career (13 years of it ) has been exploring just “How to be a designer in a world that doesn’t really need more stuff“?
Stuff, things that rely on consumption and use the Earth’s limited resources, with drastic climate consequences, pollution, biodiversity loss and and often are connected with exploitation and inequality up and down the supply chain. Quite a tricky question for a product design engineer……….
The good news is that there are many ways, and it will be an ever-evolving and ongoing exploration for many of us. It has to be, as it is a continual practice of tuning into ecosystems, reflect and be open to learn, relearn and evolve. (I’ll be sharing more on this soon).
The other good news is that there is a growing swell of talk, others working in and around the area (also many for decades) and hopefully lots more action. Just in the next week and month I’ve highlighted a few here.
So if you’re questioning, curious, perhaps a little confused and overwhelmed of where to start and what you may be able to contribute as a designer / citizen, I encourage you to take some time to pause a bit.
Review your values and work and set aside some time to reflect, explore and connect.
It’s a continual journey that we need to navigate both personally and together, to support in enabling and empowering, the designs of the transformational, disruptive changes needed to mitigate and adapt.
(if you’re in a corporate, larger business, or maybe for small businesses as well, make a case for these as an important part of your professional development ;), because they are! )
Upcoming (some very soon) events
- International E-waste day is the 14th of October and either planned or a slightly ironic coincidence there are quite a few design and sustainability, alongside industrial and tech focused events!
- Thursday 14th Oct – Designers in Sustainability: What Metrics – By the Industrial Design Association
- Thursday 14th Oct – Transitioning to Net Zero for manufacturing – UN Global Compact UK – More corporate-focused, however related to manufacturing and Net Zero Strategy commitments
- Thursday 14th Oct – Making Circular Innovation Work: Design for Disassembly and Repair – Philips innovation
- Thursday 14th October – Right to Repair – How can we end built-in obsolescence? – Royal Academy of engineering
- Saturday 16th Oct – International Repair Day ( Potentially lookout for repair cafe’s / restart parties near you, to get involved with on or around the date – it’s fascinating to see what’s brought in to fix and the issues around trying to repair …….. electric toothbrushes, soldered, glued on batteries and un-openable parts)
- The Restart Project also has a great outline , linked to the core theme of this International Repair day, Repair Lowers Carbon Emissions – they did a recent session that hopefully will (or has been added ). There should also be a documentary on ITV on the 14th October. This is a good blog and updated with a recent webinar they did on LCA on related carbon emissions of tech . You may also enjoy this series from BBC Radio 4 on – Dare to Repair
19th October – Manufacturing – Sustainable Design – WMG Sustainable Product Innovation Network (SPIN ) Event
COP 26 kicks off at the beginning of November and there’s a whole host of fringe sessions that will be held online as well as in-person if you happen to be in Glasgow (don’t worry if you’re not, the journey and action really starts where ever you are and will be so important once the COP media and show is over).
If you’d like to chat through anything do reach out and I can share ways that you may be able to further explore your sustainable, circular, and regenerative design or engineering journey.