"Imperishable" washing machine presents a new model for household appliances
‘White goods’ have made up a significant portion of the waste for many years now. With extremely high levels of energy embedded in their manufacture, and increasingly rare minerals and resources required, their often short life-cycles have remained a scandal. Now, French designers seek to challenge this; their product named 'L’Increvable' (Imperishable) has been lauded for its vastly improved life-time and repairable technologies.
Seeking to change the dominant wasteful paradigm, industrial design intern Julien Phedyaeff, has partnered with Christopher Santerre, a designer who originally took issue with the statement of a fellow industry colleague that “As soon as the product ends up in the hands of the user we’ve fulfilled our contract. Afterwards, whether it lasts or not, that isn’t our problem”. Contrary to the prevailing attitudes of the industry Christopher believed that “the responsibility of the designer goes beyond simply seducing consumers into buying the product”.
Their exciting new approach led to the creation of a prototype washing machine, one which would vastly outlive the average life of 10 years for most competitors. By creating a modular design for the washing machine it allows for parts to be easily replaced, repaired and maintained, with many easily removable parts and online guides the hope is that it could change the market for household appliances.
With many new and upcoming designers taking on the old vision of planned obsolescence and increasingly shorter product cycles. It seems likely that we will soon be able to move beyond the destructive and linear process of replacing whole products at the first sign of wear and tear. The DIY model of the modular repairable washing machine is a beacon of light, in a problematic field.
With a replaceable front cover, the 'Imperishable' washing machine promises to be stylish as well as sustaianble. Proving that we don't need to compromise on aesthetics for a circular future.
Despite being a long way from commercial manufacturing, this model shows that such ideas are possible and that the large industries which generate so much of this waste are going to have to change their businesses or soon be headed to the dump.
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