Limits and sustainable interaction design: Obsolescence in a future of collapse and resource scarcity

Christian Remy, Elaine M. Huang


Electronic waste, caused by the advancements of technology and its rapidly increasing obsolescence, represents a major threat to environmental sustainability. Research in sustainable HCI has proposed a variety of solutions to tackle this issue, but has yet to create a major impact in product design. While currently industry’s goals are opposed to research’s concepts of addressing obsolescence, a future of collapse and resource scarcity requires a revisit of those contributions: changes in society at large, such as a decrease of resource availability, different needs, requirements, and desires of the consumer, but also new directions of industry and marketing might enable researchers to bring their old concepts into practice. We take a look at a variety of obsolescence-related research in sustainable HCI and foreshadow its potential for such a future of collapse and resource scarcity.

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