UNSW Built Environment Event: Utzon 2010 Lecture Series

10 08 2010

Tomorrow night is the next installment in the UNSW Utzon lecture series “E-waste designing out obsolescence” by Dr Miles Park. Click here to register!

Products normally described as ‘consumer durables’ are now often regarded as ‘consumables’. The lifespans for many consumer electronics, notably personal computers and mobile phones, is now often measured in months and not years. Each year approximately 17 million televisions and computer related products reach their end of life. Last year we bought 2.4 million new computers and sent 1.6 million old computers to landfill. In addition 800,000 were put into storage while there are an estimated 14-16 million unused or broken mobile phones hidden in desks and drawers across the country. This electronic waste or e- waste is growing at three times the rate of other categories of municipal waste. As these discarded products breaks down, dangerous toxins leach into the groundwater, contaminating soil, waterways and ultimately our health. For example, a standard sized cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor contains more than two kilos of lead. What is being done to tackle this complex global problem? What has been the role of the designer in the making of the e-waste crisis and where are the opportunities and solutions for solving this crisis?

Also, check out Professor Robert Freestone’s packed out lecture “Urban Nation: Australia’s planning heritage”

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