Eco Network Po

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Information about Eco Network Po

Published on August 3, 2009

Author: EcodesignCentre


Planned Obsolescence Life Cycle Thinking EcoNetwork 23rd July 2009 Ecodesign Centre Wales Leyla Acaroglu Director, Eco Innovators Melbourne, Australia Leyla Acaroglu ::

Planned Obsolescence Leyla Acaroglu ::

What is planned obsolescence? • The intentional failings of a product • The shortening of a products life • Manipulation of a market through product lifespans Leyla Acaroglu ::

Definition of Planned Obsolescence “the deliberate policy of making a product become rapidly out of date or unserviceable, as by changing minor characteristics of a model, in order to ensure continual sale of new goods”. - The Macquarie Dictionary (2005, p1459) Leyla Acaroglu ::

Descriptions Leyla Acaroglu ::

When did it start and why? • Great Depression and post World War economy • Used to stimulate economic growth and generate employment and combat ‘frugality’ • Wanted to facilitate growth by making people have to consume more frequently • Corporations realised they could make more profits from continual consumption • Create long term sales volumes by reducing the time between repeat purchases Leyla Acaroglu ::

Does it really exist? • Count how many mobile phones you have owned and list the reasons that you had to purchase a new one • Consider how often your have had to replace household electrical items such as kettles and toasters Leyla Acaroglu ::

Vance Packard and the Waste Makers • The Waste Makers was published in the 1960s and set out to expose the social and environmental degradation resulting from wasteful society and planned obsolescence in products • “the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals”. Leyla Acaroglu ::

• “our enormously productive  economy… demands that we make consumption our way  of life, that we convert the buying and use of  goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual  satisfaction, our ego satisfactions, in  consumption… We need things consumed,  burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded  at an ever increasing rate” ‐ George Nelson, Industrial Designer Leyla Acaroglu ::

Types of Planned Obsolescence Leyla Acaroglu ::

Technical  • Technical: an existing  product becomes dated  when a new product is  introduced that improves  the function of the  product in some way.  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Aesthetic  • Aesthetic (style): a  product that is still  functional becomes  unfashionable in our  minds because styling  changes make it less  desirable.  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Functional  • Functional: when a  product is intended to  break down or wear out  within a given time.  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Service / system   • When the service of  system that supports the  product is changed or  altered to encourage the  consumption of a newer  product  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Notification  • Lights or parts that  change colour to inform  consumers that they need  to purchase a  replacement product  even through the product  will still function  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Leyla Acaroglu ::

Advantages Manufacturers • Increased revenue from sales • Repeat customers • Seen as a technological leader, rapid innovation  Consumers • Cheaper upfront purchasing costs • Satisfaction of buying the latest,, safest or ‘best’ products • Being a ‘trend setter’ or fashionable  • Being able to afford to have ‘everything’ Leyla Acaroglu ::

Disadvantages Manufacturers  • Increased dissatisfaction from customers • Legal ramifications  • Bad reputation / media coverage  Consumers • Competitive consumption ‐ "keeping up with the Jones" • Forced into continual consumption cycles • Ongoing replacement or upgrading costs  • Pressure to consume from advertising, peers and media  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Why is PO a problem? • Environmental impacts  • Because everything created  comes from nature  • All resources are finite, some  more then others • Creates inequity as consumers  are not in control or aware of  the lifespan of the products  that they purchase • Promotes wasteful society  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Product Life Cycles Leyla Acaroglu ::

Designer influences  • Over 80% of a products social and environmental implications are decided and ‘locked in’ at the design stage (USA EPA) • Designer’s are the agents that have some of the greatest capacity to dictate the social and environmental implications of consumer goods Leyla Acaroglu ::

Resource extraction  • All resources come from  nature at some stage  • Resources are finite and  should be used  conservatively • Equity issues around the  use and waste of  resources  • Generates huge amounts  of waste Leyla Acaroglu ::

Manufacturing  • Inputs includes: materials,  energy, water etc • Outputs include carbon  emissions, waste water,  toxic substances, waste  materials etc  • Equity issues with current  manufacturing practices Leyla Acaroglu ::

Packaging & Transportation • Transport and  packaging happens at  EVERY stage of a  products life  • Greater impacts from  air and road  transportation • Over packaging is a  waste of resources  Leyla Acaroglu ::

Use  • Resource use during  life such as energy or  water etc • Continual consumables  such as cartridges or  cleaning products  creates impacts  • Equity issues over  safety, toxicity etc Leyla Acaroglu ::

End of Life  • Loss of resources to  landfill • Limited recycling  systems and capacity  in different countries  • Recycling is often  ‘down cycling’ Leyla Acaroglu ::

Ramifications of PO Leyla Acaroglu ::

Leyla Acaroglu ::

Final Thoughts • Its not someone else responsibility to solve social and environmental problems – its everyone's responsibility • Designer’s are in a unique position to influence change over corporations and consumers alike • Don’t wait to be asked – just do it • Be a subversive designer Leyla Acaroglu ::

Thanks for your time Questions: Leyla Acaroglu ::

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