Starting the Restart.

Think about the last time you replaced a computer, camera, mobile or iPod. Did you do so because the last one broke down and could simply not be repaired? Or did you simply find it was “obsolete” or “running slow”? Or did you simply “have to have” the latest, the newest gadget?

Why do we consume computers, phones and other electronics the way we do?

This project hopes to inspire a new behaviour in relation to electronics, especially computers and phones. We hope to empower people to invest in economies of repair instead of despair. Fixing, repurposing and dodging obsolescence can come back – and can even become en vogue.

What would a world look like in which we are free from craving for the new? We are not proposing that we agonise as individuals over our consumption, but instead that we get creative, playful and mindful in our choices. Let’s do it together.

Check out our concept as it evolves here.

This project is the brainchild of Ugo and Janet, members of London’s ICT4D geek community.

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3 thoughts on “Starting the Restart.

  1. I am a student from politecnico di milano, and today we have the opportunity listen to Mr Ugo ‘s lecture. I have the deeply feeling about the computer , camera, mobile phone changing in my life. during the class, my friends said the mobile phone is like a personal memory for ourself, i
    am totally agree and have the same feeling. We are both from China, chinese people have a folk saying :” 念旧“ It means you can not forgot the past or can not find new things to instead of . For me, i have one mobile phone used for 5 years, a camera used for 4 years, a very old big computer use for more than 10 years, they are all like part of my life, especially the mobile phone, no matter where i go ,it always be with me , now it’s broken cause the keyboard part can not press easily, but i didn’t throw it away, it still in my drawer , it’s a memory for me, cause maybe oneday , i find my old mobile phone and open it, there are lots of old pictures , friends’ massages , it wiil remind me something that can not instead at this time.

  2. Hi Shishi, thanks a lot for sharing your comment. It is so true – we have lots of memories linked to a specific device, where we used it and that period of our life. It was great meeting you at Politecnico, stay in touch! It would be great to hear your views on repair culture in China and in Milano too!

  3. Yes, think about all the time you spent with your cellphone everyday, sum up it could even takes more time than you spending with a close friend. Nowadays I think due to the unstoppable social network system, electronics like cellphones and computers, they are the very basic tools for communications. So all the memory, the time when you use your phone is there, in fact the tools are becoming a part of you even though you may not be conscious of. Especially you could feel lost and sad when you lost or broke your phone accidentally. When it comes to me, I will try to fix the problem first, if not possible, I would also keep it in some corner of my place. Let it be there, so you could feel you have the accessibility of checking it anytime you want. Maybe it’s an old friend’s contact, maybe it’s a warming touching message from your friend which you left on it. It’s all there, safe and sound. Once a while, even hearing the ringing tones and reminding sound of the message, just makes you recall all kinds of memory. Indeed it’s a satisfaction because people tend to be in cognitive ease when they see or hear something familiar, it just gives you comfort. So I don’t tend to break up with a “friend” that easily even when “he” got some problems, just try to fix it and continue the friendship.
    I come from China, talking about the repairing experience of small electronics in China, I think I have a lot to say. The business of repairing small electronics especially cellphones is actually quite big and has been taken as a very usual thing. If you have the chance to visit China, just go to Zhongguancun technology center in Beijing, you will easily have a view about how popular but how normal it is. A whole market with hundreds of booths are there, they all repair cellphones, both hardware and softwares (due to the massive growing number of smart phones). Most of them are private running business, one or two technician could easily form a booth, very few are big companies maintenance. Usually the price is quite cheap comparing the prices of repairing in europe but it varies a lot due to the person you are dealing with. Yes, the market is not very mature because there’s not proper regulations about standard charging of the service. Also, it’s a risky business to some extend, the technology changes so fast, chaos exists. But still, most of the time, people tend to fix their phones in China, because it’s usually very convenient and economical to do it. In my point of view, rapid disposal of goods, especially electronics, is not for countries like China yet. I think it’s a good thing if we can carry on this spirit especially in the sense when we “can dispose easily”, but we don’t choose to.

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