- Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building - http://inhabitat.com -
GREENER GADGETS 2009!
Posted By Jill Fehrenbacher On March 2, 2009 @ 12:33 pm In green gadgets,Greener Gadgets,Innovation | No Comments
Last week’s Greener Gadgets Conference  was a smashing success, and if you missed it, you missed out. Inventor Saul Griffith  gave a provocative and rousing keynote presentation, with a call-to-action to consumers to start measuring their energy use and designers to start changing the way they make things. The panel discussions were lively and interesting, and as always, the Greener Gadgets Design Competition  live-judging was the hit of the conference with spirited debate between audience and judges, and hilarious commentary by Core77’s Allan Chochinov . But if you weren’t able to be in attendance at our fabulous conference – fear not – you can catch up on all the important highlights here on Inhabitat. We live-blogged  the whole thing on Friday , and we’ll be posting videos soon. The live-blog  is pretty detailed, so if you are looking for a short synposis of the event, read on for highlights > 
The big theme this year at Greener Gadgets 2009  seemed to be the need to create longer-lasting, higher quality, more durable products. During Greener Gadgets 2008  we talked a lot about the recycling of electronics, but recycling is energy and resource intensive, and doesn’t really address the fundamental problem of relentless consumption based on cheap throwaway goods and planned obsolescence. The nature of consumer electronics is that there is always a new and better gadget every year: fueling the cycle of constant consumption and disposal. If we can change the throwaway culture of cheap disposable gadgets, we can go a long way towards making this industry greener.
Keynote speaker Saul Griffith  spoke of a need to create ‘Heirloom Gadgets’, and foster a culture of maintenance and repair of existing electronics, rather than constantly upgrading and replacing cheap electronics every year. Hearkening back to a time when there were watch repair shops everywhere, people held on to their watches for years and even passed them down to their grandchildren, Saul Griffith suggested we change the name of the conference to ‘Greener Electronic Objet D’Art’, and focus our efforts on creating BETTER, longer-lasting products that people will form emotional attachments to and will want to keep for years.
The other major theme of the Greener Gadgets Conference  this year was the need to visualize energy use: to make visible what is currently invisible, in order to change people’s behavior. People use much more energy than they need to, because their energy use invisible to them. If we all purchased energy measuring devices such as the Kill A Watt , and proceeded to measure our energy use, energy consumption would drop dramatically. It is no coincidence that the winning designs in the Greener Gadgets Design Competition  were all connected to the idea of visualizing energy usage.
The grand prize winner of the 2nd Annual Greener Gadgets Design Competition , the ‘Tweet-A-Watt’ , is a device that broadcasts your energy usage to all of your friends and family through Twitter.  The idea is that if you are publicly broadcasting how much energy you use, you are likely to be more cognizant of your energy use and cut back. Designers Phillip Torrone and Limor Fried hacked an existing device called the Kill A Watt  to create their DIY ‘Tweet-a-Watt ‘. While the Kill A Watt  is a device already in production to help consumers visualize energy use, the added social pressure of having all your Twitter friends and followers know how much energy you use was a stroke of brilliance on the part of Greener Gadgets design Competition winners Phillip Torrone and Limor Fried. Shame is a powerful motivator to change behavior!
Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/greener-gadgets-2009/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157614586494250&page=1&photo=3318064700
 Greener Gadgets Conference: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/02/27/greener-gadgets-2009-liveblog/
 Saul Griffith: http://www.saulgriffith.com/
 Greener Gadgets Design Competition: http://www.greenergadgets.com/index.php/design-competition/
 Core77’s Allan Chochinov: http://www.core77.com/design2.0/allan_chochinov.asp
 read on for highlights >: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/03/02/greener-gadgets-2009/#more-19900
 Greener Gadgets 2008: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/02/07/greener-gadgets-2008/
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157614586494250&page=1&photo=3318064936
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157614586494250&page=1&photo=3318064740
 Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72157614586494250&page=1&photo=3318064876
 Greener Gadgets Conference: http://www.greenergadgets.com
 Kill A Watt: http://www.p3international.com/products/special/P4400/P4400-CE.html
 ‘Tweet-A-Watt’: http://www.core77.com/greenergadgets/entry.php?projectid=63
 Twitter.: http://www.twitter.com
 broadcasted: http://twitter.com/tweetawatt
Copyright © 2011 Inhabitat Local - New York. All rights reserved.