NYC Media Lab: ITP Workshop

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The Future of Waste: Envisioning Sustainable Technology
Led by: Alden Jones, NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP)
Location: NYU 370 Jay Street | Room: NYU ITP, 4th Floor
Topic Areas: Speculative Design, Sustainability, Life Cycle Assessment, Scenario Planning
Can we adapt to a zero-waste future? The current technology industry relies on a business model of constant innovation and planned obsolescence, a model which depends upon both a global supply chain of parts and scarce materials and a global infrastructure of waste management, which moves potentially toxic high tech trash to areas where it can be isolated, treated, and its materials downcycled. Both of these systems are ecologically devastating, and in the long run, unsustainable. Beyond this damage, current systems are precarious and dependent on geopolitics, legal frameworks, and a variety of modern infrastructures, each with their own failures. In this workshop, we will look at several contemporary technologies and work collaboratively to reimagine their design for a future in which these global systems can no longer be relied upon. Participants will work in small teams to develop their speculative designs, with each team given the opportunity to report back their new product to the group.