Public lecture: E-waste, obsolescence and sustainable HCI

The IT-University of Copenhagen March 2nd, 3A12/14 10:00 –12:00 PM

Technological innovation and advancements in manufacturing have turned consumer electronics into an easily replaceable commodity in people’s everyday lives. The result is an ever-increasing cycle of replacement that renders devices obsolete and creates large amounts of e-waste, threatening environmental sustainability. To tackle the problem of e-waste it is important to understand the causes for as well as the remedies to obsolescence – including, but not limited to, planned obsolescence. Research in sustainable HCI has made important inroads to identify a variety of solutions to those issues in recent years. This lecture will explore the problem space by highlighting the causes for e-waste, obsolescence, and planned obsolescence, followed by a discussion of how the design of products as well as the entire philosophy of product design needs to fundamntally change – and how sustainable HCI research can contribute innovative ideas to achieve that change.

Christian Remy is a Ph.D. Student at the People and Computing Lab at the Univers
ity of Zurich, Switzerland. He studied Computer Science at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, and graduated with a major in Human-Computer Interaction. His research interests are in Ubiquitous Computing and Sustainable HCI, more specifically how Sustainable Interaction Design can help product designers of consumer electronics to address issues of environmental sustainability by encouraging longer use of devices.

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