Max Oliver Laing
Electronic devices are designed for obsolescence, with updates slowing them down and repairs being purposefully costly and difficult. This cycle contributes to the larger e-waste problem. Aeterna offers resources for recycling with financial incentives and maintenance advice. It promotes longevity and links pro-consumerism with sustainability and reducing e-waste. Its mission is to make devices last longer, benefiting consumers and the environment in the end.
Artist/Thesis Statement
There seems to be a yearly cycle, or bi-yearly cycle when it comes to technology and new devices. Your “new” device will last approximately 12 months before the next “new” device comes out. Whether that newer device has features and hardware that validates an upgrade merely a year out depends purely on the corporation behind its development. Maybe you pass on that upgrade, and instead of buying a new phone, you opt to update the software to get a few of the exciting features the new phone you passed on is getting. You may notice that your phone is getting noticeably slower with each new major software update. Your battery life gets shorter and shorter. And then you realize that your device, in its carefully crafted hardware, was made to be such an impenetrable solid brick, that no layman can hope to repair or maintain it. Only the corporation’s trained workers, holding out a liability form and a chip reader, can replace the battery, or the shattered glass screen...all for a high price of course. And there you stand, looking at the bill to repair and maintain your phone. A bill that is impressive enough to consider just buying a brand-new phone altogether or opting to pay for their yearly service which magically more than halves the cost of the repair. 
In the back of your head, you know that you weren’t even supposed to keep this device for too long. You were meant to buy a new one and throw the “old” one to the side well before this point, and the priceful cost of this maintenance and repair is merely a lesson; this device wasn’t designed for longevity. You think about all your overdesigned devices whose hardware prevents any real repair, and God forbid, a less expensive third-party repair.
The problem is merely this; people can’t squeeze as much out of their devices as they should for how much they pay for them. Devices are too limited and disposable, and this adds to e-waste. If devices are aided in their longevity, the consumer and environment wins. Repair and maintenance should not be prohibitive in their expense, and if corporations refuse to design devices for easy repair they should be forced to with legislation.
Taking all this into consideration, Aeterna aims to reduce e-waste by providing a unique number of resources and centralized aid for users to recycle their devices with a financial incentive. As well as providing a financial benefit to recycling, my service will provide maintenance and device health advice to ensure that current devices can keep functioning. A pro-consumerist approach does not need to add to e-waste, and I fundamentally believe that pro-consumerism and e-waste reduction is linked. Sustainability is our future, and with a growing economic class divide, ensuring that expensive devices do not need to be replaced frequently is important to consumers everywhere.

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