Renewable Matter # 20 / February-March

When a Party Extends Your Life

by Veronica Ulivieri

Focus Planned Obsolescence


Printers impossible to repair, devices difficult to disassemble, poor information for repairs and unavailable spare parts. Corporate strategies and lifestyles inspired by inflated consumption hone in on products designed with a deadline. But namely designers and consumers can reverse this trend, many of which are already trying. 


In 1924 the expression “planned obsolescence” did not exist, but the phenomenon was already there. Indeed, during the same year, a few light bulb manufacturers signed a non-aggression pact: no competition amongst them and products on sale with the same reduced life expectancy. Decades after the so called “Phoebus cartel,” there was a proliferation of...

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