Almost 50 metric tons of global electrical waste is generated with a 3% increase annually, 40% of which is small electrical equipment found in households like kettles, toaster, blenders, irons and hairdryers. My final major project aims to find a viable solution to throw-away appliances by exploring the extent of which a small electrical appliance can be repaired and upgraded to ensure prolonged longevity. Connect Appliances is a modular appliance range that extensively looks at how design for disassembly is the future for products. Simple and safe disassembly allows for efficient repair and upgrade in products. The exploration of longevity through materials and design allows for a product range that is designed to almost be timeless. Modularity between appliances means that repairability is more effective and reduces the footprint of similar electrical components within the consumers household. Ultimately, my design highlights that sustainable design doesn't have to compromise on a products' form or function. I believe that if electrical appliances followed the same model as my final major project then in the future there would be a reduction in e-waste.
The investigation began with understanding the magnitude of e-waste generated on a global scale and what products are the main contributors. By doing so, research into how design can be more sustainable were explored.
Once opportunities for longevity and reparability were explored, initial designs were created. The design philosophy and language was established in this phase as it was vital to design a product a embodies the characteristic for the product to be timeless.
A vital aspect of the design is simplified disassembly and the ability for future upgrades. To do so, a large aspect of the design phase was exploring a simple yet safe method of disassembly. This was done through sketch exploration and CAD development.
Connect Appliance - A sustainable longevity solution for kettles, coffee makers, blenders and mixers.
The all in one design also for the kettle, coffee maker, blender and mixer all to operate from one singular product. This reduces the usage of electronics whilst allows for repair to be more efficient.
The kettle appliances operate over two basic components a electric motor and a electric heating current. This therefore makes the appliances attachments to a bigger product which minimises the electronics they have.
The design direction of the product is to encourage and accept the use of high-grade and more desirable material whilst the simplified interface and overall form can stand the test of time.
Simplified disassembly makes it so it is recycle and repairable. This is done through modular parts and universal fixings.
Consumers are given the ability to repair products and upgrade hardware.
Connect Appliance understands that consumers change preference so to tackle this, the design for disassembly simplicity allows for users to make cosmetic changes. This ensure the overall product life is increased as consumers desires are a large contributor to e-waste.
Component exploded view
Connect Appliance kettle and blender in its kitchen environment.
Connect Appliance different colour choices in its kitchen environment.