In a world where practically everything has become disposable, from televisions and vacuum cleaners to smartphones and coffee machines, electronic waste has become an increasingly serious issue.
Jonathan Chapman, Professor of Sustainable Design and Director of Design Research Initiatives at the University of Brighton, stresses the need for new business models based on the concept of emotionally durable design, an approach that can help society to reduce waste by building a longer-lasting relationship between people and the products they buy.
Wasteful consumption patterns are largely driven by emotional factors – people tire of things all too quickly and discard them once the novelty wears off. Considering emotional durability at the design stage can help to wean people off their desire for the new and shape more sustainable business models.
“Here, longer-lasting products have the potential to build economic models around creating robust products, upgrade and repair services, and brand-loyal customers – all without excessive waste”, writes Chapman. “In design terms, we can support greater levels of emotional longevity when we specify materials that age gracefully, and that develop quality over time.”
Read Chapman’s full article on beating the ‘throwaway’ waste crisis by designing loveable objects here.