Let’s Make Good Stuff: Combatting planned obsolescence and junk by relearning repair, maintenance, and personal agency over the things around us
MetadataShow full item record
Let’s Make Good Stuff explores our relationship with the designed objects around us. Mass produced items have an increased ability to provide everyone with good design, or to fill our world with sub-par products. This thesis sets out to define the difference between junk and good stuff, and to create an understanding of the importance of pursuing quality in the things we make. Following in the footsteps of artists like Damien Ortega and Hans Hansen, as well as modern technology reviewers like iFixit, this thesis uses the tool of the teardown - the disassembly of something into its individual parts - to examine and become familiar with the histories and mechanics of mass production. Working with power tools as the area of focus, several questions begin to surface: What can be repaired, and what is worth repairing? How can we design better products that engage users in maintenance? And how can we engage in maintenance and repair work in products that weren’t originally intended for it? In beginning to answer these questions, the thesis aims to show how designers and individuals can aim to make a more repairable and sustainable future. Finally, with new agency over how things work and inspired by small-scale plastics recycling projects, there is a brief exploration of how designers can begin to close the materials loop in their own work and make a means of production for themselves, through the creation of an aluminum foundry. Let’s Make Good Stuff ultimately aims to show how people can begin to better their experience of the material world through engaging in practices of maintenance, modification, and repair, and the special importance for designers to learn through this type of hands-on exploration.
Cite this version of the work
Nathanael Scheffler (2021). Let’s Make Good Stuff: Combatting planned obsolescence and junk by relearning repair, maintenance, and personal agency over the things around us. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16821