Bringing Right to Repair to Sustainable Product Design

31 May 2024

Type: Text
Category: Student stories

Earlier this month, second year Sustainable Product Design BA students had the opportunity to work on a live brief alongside Bang Creations, an industrial design engineering business, to help get their insight when factoring the circular economy into new products.  

A core part of the Sustainable Product Design course is to develop innovative solutions that address global challenges, engaging with social innovation, and environmental and economic sustainability. This project was the perfect opportunity to put this into practice.

About Right to Repair 

‘The Right to Repair’ is a global movement established to empower consumers to be able to fix the products they own when they stop working, rather than face inflated repair fees from manufacturers or throw them away. Right to Repair enables access to the tools and parts needed for repairs, and the information required (such as manufacturer’s manuals) to understand how to disassemble, fix the problem, and reassemble a product. Being able to repair products to extend their longevity is deemed a critical part of the circular economy.   

During the project with Bang Creations, students were asked to design a small domestic appliance embracing Right to Repair and circular thinking. They explored opportunities for products that heat - such as toasters and kettles - products that move - such as kitchen scales and fans - or products that do both - such as hairdryers and heaters. The students were challenged to develop products with a 100-year life span that encourages environmentally sustainable behaviour. 

Simon Andrews, course leader said “The students benefited enormously from the input from Bang Creations on the module. Using Stefan’s model for design innovation allowed them to examine the business contexts of their design concepts alongside sustainable design strategies.” 

At the end of this project, students held an exhibition Care to Repair: Design for a circular economy showcasing their creations. 

Photos by Oscar Talbot

What our students had to say 

Florence Pike-Quantick 

Working with Bang Creations has been really insightful into understanding what the design industry offers, in terms of future careers and how it will align with personal creative practices.  

A key part to industrial design is responding to a brief, and this project has challenged us to do exactly that, but while applying sustainability at the forefront of the design response.  

Photos by Oscar Talbot

Ben Mancini

To work on a live brief in collaboration with an established design consultancy such as Bang Creations has given me the confidence for future endeavors after Falmouth University. This is due to gaining a vast amount of insight into the design industry whilst developing solutions to real-world issues. Consequently, this has given me the opportunity to expand my designing thinking and better understand how I can utilise key sustainable design strategies within my projects.  

I have also gained invaluable advice during this project due to the extensive feedback received from Bang Creations, which has not only allowed me to refine my existing projects and ideas but will also be extremely beneficial for future ventures, ensuring further development of my skillset and progress towards my career goals. 

You can find out more about Ben's designs on LinkedIn

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