The Next Generation of Smart Product Design

iFixit recently partnered with Core77 and Autodesk to sponsor the second Design for (Your) Product Lifetime contest. And the winners are in!

The design content challenged student participants to throw their mental muscle behind a topic that is near and dear to our heart. iFixit’s mission is to help build a society that has a sustainable relationship with the things we make. Repairing products is part of that equation, but repair is only possible if the products we buy are conscientiously designed.

Banner for smart product design contest with Core77 and Autodesk

So iFixit, Core77, and Autodesk reached out to the next generation of hardware designers and asked them what a brighter future of product design might hold. Their challenge: Design a smart product that is durable, repairable, and sustainable.

The designers did an amazing job. We received over 200 entries and, in the end, the judging panel selected two first place winners: The Easy Access Computer Monitor designed by Gabriel Nicasio, Praneeth Pulusani and John Zakrzewski from Rochester Institute of Technology and a Repairable Microwave designed by Marshall Jamshidi from Savannah College of Art and Design.

These winners embraced the essence of the challenge by designing products that are thoughtful and innovative, while still solving critical lifetime problems. And we saw that kind of commitment to innovative design across the board. Other winning product designs included a Smarter Phone, with customizable, removable parts and an ingenious folding structure; a repairable, minimalist Coffee Machine; and an easy-to-recycle, easy-to-disassemble Cardboard Wireless Router.

One thing is clear: these student designers are bringing new meaning to the phrase “smart products”—because a product that is truly “smart” shouldn’t just be cutting-edge; it should also be sustainable.

View the full list of winning designs at Core77.