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Closed for repair: design affordances for product disassembly

Park, Miles

A common understanding is that modern products are becoming increasingly difficult to repair. While there are many broad contributing and systemic reasons for this, it is equally important to investigate actual products and how they are designed for disassembly. This research looks at consumer electrical and electronic devices and identifies product design features that “afford” disassembly - thereby enabling or discouraging self-repair. An affordance for disassembly offers a user a perceivable means to commence a disassembly process, removing external housings, covers and primary sub-assemblies, in order to gain access to internal repairable components. This research involves, identifying disassembly features of a selection of consumer electronic and technology devices from the 1950s through to the 2000s, documented product teardowns of domestic kitchen appliances undertaken by design students, and a survey of users experience at identifying fastener types.
Published in: PLATE – Product lifetimes and the environment : 3rd PLATE Conference, September 18–20, 2019 Berlin, Germany, Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin
Published by ISBN 978-3-7983-3125-9