In today’s throwaway world, the rate at which and the amount of goods that are getting discarded has developed an alarming situation. Electronic industry has evolved rapidly since the invention of transistors in 1947. From these days onwards, efforts have been taken to make the products more efficient in terms of their performance, reduce design and production cost and have higher profit margins. However, this has led to products being designed in a way which makes people want to dispose them early, in turn making them part of waste after usage. Electronic products contain certain materials and components which are hazardous to human beings. Over past decade it has been observed that consumer electronics’ life has reduced a lot. This is a severe issue when it comes to e-waste generation and hence needs to be addressed quite soon. Design and financial strategies of planned and perceived obsolescence are making these waste piles go high at an alarming rate. Recently, circular economy which is trying to bend this linear product life approach in to a loop, is being studied and strategies are being developed for the same. Businesses and designers are taking initiatives and shifting their focus towards circular economy by modifying their business models so as to guide the society into a sustainable future. This paper focuses on research about e-waste along with understanding the life cycle of today’s mobile and computer devices. The study also focuses on design strategies and challenges for product longevity, analysis of the designing aspect of the mentioned electronic devices design and how user experience plays a role in reducing e-waste. With the help of this research, the goal is to develop a design concept for mobile and computer devices in this modern age which can have longer life span thus helping in reducing the rate and amount of e waste generated. For this, a study of evolution of aesthetics of electronics devices was very important. After reviewing those designs with a group, final concept is developed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electronic waste--Management; Product life cycle

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CAD)


Stan Rickel

Advisor/Committee Member

Alex Lobos


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes