Situation

 With constantly shifting technology and new smartphones, tablets, computers and TVs hitting the market everyday, the problem of electronic waste is rapidly getting out of control. 


Problem

  • Products become obsolete quickly and are discarded
  • Electronics are difficult to recycle due to different micro-components that have to be sorted separately
  • Electronic scrap components dumped in landfills contain toxic materials that harm both human health and the environment

Solution

Extend the life cycle of electronics by keeping them in the system longer.


Ethnographic research

To understand how an average family deals with technology, we studied different members of a family and their behavior towards electronics.

Observations

#1 Every family has an "electronics graveyard"- a drawer full of dated phones, laptops, music players etc. 

#2 Parents have a “fear of fixing” their damaged devices- they are afraid the guts will fall out if they opened their machine. They continue using their machine till they reach a breaking point, upon which they declare “it has run its course”.

#3 Kids of these parents are exponentially less afraid of tinkering. They are comfortable around electronics and enjoy spending time figuring things out. They are usually the ones to guide their parents to troubleshoot simple issues.


Opportunity

To offer a safe and useful way to re-purpose the old electronics graveyard as the new learning playground for kids.


Introducing ERA

ERA's mission is to extend the life-cycle of old technology by pairing up with the STEM curriculum to supply re-purposed electronic kits to schools. These kits would be used to encourage play and build, equipping the innovators of tomorrow with familiarity in maintaining their household electronics.  

How this works

Partnering with Best Buy

Collaborate with Best Buy's current recycling program to operate as the local drop-off point. Best buy would offer incentives to customers who turn in their old electronics when purchasing new ones. 

Partnering with ERI

ERI, the biggest e-recycling organization in the world, would repurpose obsolete gadgets into electronic kits and experimental units.

Partnering with STEM

These kits would be distributed to classes and workshops in the STEM curriculum. Kids would explore the different parts of these devices and tinker with fixing and building.

Website

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With: 
Stanley Hines (Experience Designer)
Andrew Vessels (Strategist) 
Andrea Vega (Experience Designer)

ektashah89@gmail.com
804.548.3538
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