Sustainable Technologies Project at UMD


Design Cultures & Creativity Program



The Design Cultures & Creativity (DCC) Program in the Honors College will develop a series of "repair and maintenance" workshops for students, faculty, and staff that will guide them through repairing their technologies as a way to intervene in e-waste and encourage participants to hold on to their devices for a longer period of time. DCC will initially offer a set of workshops on mobile phone and tablet repair that will address simple fixes like repairing a broken screen to more complex repairs like soldering a new headphone jack or cellular/WiFi antenna. We will then turn to updating old laptops by showing people how to replace optical hard drives with solid state drives. DCC will work with participants across campus to provide the needed repairs and replacement parts, free of charge, in order to incentivize involvement with this initiative. These workshop initiatives will keep mobile phones, laptops, and other digital technologies out of the waste stream, giving them renewed longevity. These workshops will also give participants a sense of the importance in holding on to technologies for a longer period, while also fostering a sense agency in working with broken technologies, giving them the skill sets and confidence to repair technologies rather than discard them.