Digital detritus

Digitalisation is often portrayed as a solution that can lead to an environmentally sustainable society but this seems less true as time goes on. As we mine the surface of the earth in order to produce our digital devices, metals and plastics make their way into worldwide circulation. Once in our hands, the finished products not only demand energy to function but also lead to wasteful digital behaviour, as we leave behind trails of undisposed data. An increasing number of files are accumulating in the many data centres of the ever-expanding ‘cloud’, which has a total energy consumption that is higher than that of most countries in the world. When our once-so-precious devices inevitably break or become out-dated, they are reduced to electronic waste, disposed of out of sight of the consumer, most often in developing countries.

In DIGITAL DETRITUS, the reality of designing for a digital world is confronted and we seek to expose the full life-spans of our devices and data—before, during and after the time in which they are used.

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