about   |   writing   |   archives

Street Hacks Presentation

Chengdu: mobile phone repair

How long have you been using your current cell phone? And what happened to your previous one? If you live in a country like India, China or Ghana the answer is likely to involve the vibrant used phone market and, somewhere along the line the informal repair cultures – guys on the street who appear able to fix pretty much anything using little more than a flat surface a screwdriver and somehow, just the right knowledge.

Those of you who have followed this research and are based in the Bay Area are invited to a talk by myself and Nokia Design colleague Duncan Burns, titled Street Hacks: From Design Research to Prototype to kindly hosted by Adaptive Path. (AP also plan to present some new material, TBD)

Want to join? Details and sign up here.

The presentation will highlight the mobile phone hacking skills available on the streets of cities from Accra and beyond, the sophisticated ecosystem of reverse engineered repair manuals and how it challenges our thinking about what it means to make and distribute and support our products. The presentation will also introduce Remade – a phone made from upcycled and recycled materials.

Surely something missing from title of the talk? Nah – just our intent to open up the discussion to how design research and design prototypes can be used to change how an organisation thinks and does. Or not. That’s why it’s called a discussion…

Oh yeah, photos from around Chengdu’s mobile phone repair market – repair services. Tokyo this morning, Beijing (airport) for lunch, Dubai tomorrow. See you on the other side.