It is important for designers to consider a wide range of perspectives when designing a product and to consider the many scenarios that affect the product’s life.
Planned obsolescence is the practice of designing products that will have a limited life and that will become obsolete and require to be replaced, such as disposable razors. Modern mobile phones are a good example as they need continual software upgrades and they are soon replaced by new better-performing models. Planned obsolescence is generally bad for the environment as it creates more waste.
Design for maintenance is a term used when designing products that are more durable and have spare parts available to mend and maintain them. This is only possible with low-tech or modular products that don’t require a great deal of skill to repair. For example, a push bike can be regularly maintained, with parts such as pedals and chains being replaced when they are damaged.
Design for disassembly is a concept that when a product has reached the end of its life it can be taken apart and parts reused or recycled. For instance, a stool could be unscrewed to allow the plastic seat and steel legs to be recycled.
Environmental design is something designers are increasingly considering by: