Circular Economy and the 13 SHIFTcycles – part 3 redesign

30. March 2023

The biggest (adjusting) screw in the development of smartphones is on the back of the device.

redesign – redesign, redesign

Even before Samuel and Carsten founded SHIFT, they were enthusiastic about technology and innovative ideas. With each of these products, one crucial point was increasingly missing – a fair and sustainable product design. You can read about everything that makes up a product design here. But not only the technologies became more and more efficient and faster, marketing also expanded, while the leaps in innovation became smaller and smaller. To this day, profit maximization is the top priority for most tech companies. Our goal is to orient our thoughts and actions towards the common good of society, i.e. for us: maximizing meaning instead of maximizing profit. We strive for this maximization of meaning through a modular design and fair working conditions.

Modularity as a design concept

If a smartphone ends up in the garbage due to a defective battery, the term “smart” should be questioned. Because a nice smartphone for the garbage is an ugly problem for our planet. Smartphones and tablets are usually not modular, i.e. the modules in the device are glued together, which makes repairs difficult and sometimes impossible. As a result, users cannot repair their devices and have to switch to a new device.

With modularity, on the other hand, the modules are connected to one another by means of plug-in connections. Depending on the model, up to 23 components can be exchanged on a SHIFTphone. Our A-frame (display unit) and B-frame (device frame) are also not glued together, but fixed with screws of the same size. All you need to open the device is a screwdriver. The structure of the device is based on repair statistics, i.e. the defect that occurs most frequently in a smartphone is the easiest and fastest to fix. According to repair statistics, the display is the most common defect. You can see how easy it is to change a display here:

 

Modularity means fairness

A modular design is not only “fair” to the environment, but also to the users. Reparability allows users to extend the useful life of their devices. The obsolescence of a product, which means that certain functions are no longer available, is referred to as obsolescence. In the technology sector, products are developed where the manufacturers consciously accept obsolescence. When products are manufactured and designed to have a shorter lifespan, it is called planned obsolescence. You can read more about this topic in our blog “Spring cleaning: Your Read the article against obsolescence”.

 


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