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Don’t Replace. Rebuild

Techmog is a liquid network of engineers, programmers, designers and entrepreneurs in and around London who report on the industry we work in, from an insider's view. We're always looking for Londoners with something interesting to say. Send an email to info@techmog.com if you would like to contribute to the website.

Peter Bailey

Freelance Wordpress Developer in London (peabay.xyz) @peabay
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Check out: Arduino Day 2015

We throw away far too many fixable electronics. Encouraged by manufacturers who would rather us replace than repair and not helped by councils scrapping recycle schemes we’re quickly burying ourselves in needless waste. It’s estimated that Britain alone chucks out electronics worth £762 million a year. But armed with a bit of knowledge and some cheap tools everyone has the power to undo this terrible statistic.

“When you don’t open it you don’t own it”

Berto has shared with the Instructables community instructions to dismantle a coffee machine and transplant its parts into a more sustainable casing made of pallets. Exposing the parts means repair is a welcome task, increasing its lifespan dramatically.

A reused pallet is an icon of a movement that points to an anti consumerism lifestyle and sustainable living. Thousands of pallet projects worldwide indicate upcycling, creativity and a personal production of consumer goods.
I show a coffeemaker inside out, on a mini pallet. A form of ‘guerrilla machine redesign’. Living in a world of black boxes, it’s a provocation to show the “internal parts”. Insight in the processes within give more understanding if something goes wrong. ‘When you don’t open it you don’t own it’. How many broken coffee makers have never been opened for a short inspection inside the housing? I am surprised, as repairer, how fast the problem is found after opening the ‘treasury’.

The new enclosure is arguably more attractive than the black box it likely once lived in. Bare electronics and pipes show the user what an amazing machine it really is. Perhaps reminding them of the real value of their electronics.

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Posted 15th Mar 2015
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