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Challenges 2013, 4(1), 19-33;

Integrating Emotional Attachment and Sustainability in Electronic Product Design

Department of Industrial Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, 73 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rochester Institute of Technology, 81-2173, 111 Lomb Memorial Dr., Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 February 2013 / Revised: 24 February 2013 / Accepted: 4 March 2013 / Published: 14 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Waste — Impact, Policy and Green Design)
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Current models for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products encourage frequent product replacement with newer versions that offer only minor incremental improvements. This pattern, named planned obsolescence, diminishes user experience and shortens product lifespan. This paper presents the conceptual basis for a two-part integrated approach to combating planned obsolescence in ICT devices. First, design for emotional attachment, which creates products that users enjoy, value, and use for longer. Second, technological adaptability, which anticipates product upgrades and repairs as new technologies emerge. A model interdisciplinary design course in industrial design and sustainability, also described herein, trains students to apply this approach to create innovative ICT products with smaller environmental footprints. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; industrial design; emotional attachment; design education sustainability; industrial design; emotional attachment; design education

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Lobos, A.; Babbitt, C.W. Integrating Emotional Attachment and Sustainability in Electronic Product Design. Challenges 2013, 4, 19-33.

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