designing a phone fit for the future

20th January 2016
by Mathhew Cockerill

During Fairphones launch event for the Fairphone 2, at London Design Festival, Seymourpowell ran a design workshop on what the next generation Fairphone could be. Matthew Cockerill, Associate Design Director and a team of designers, strategists and researchers  challenged a group of 30 early adopters to create phone concepts with each team focusing on particular aspects of design that could effect the phones fairness/sustainability:-

Emotional durability

How can we make people take pride in owning their phones for longer. To make the coolest phone the oldest not the latest. 

Material/components reduction

How can we reduce the amount of components or materials that go into performing the functions of a smartphone? 

Designed for Refurbishment

What would a leasing model (which shifts responsibility for the phone back to Fairphone) mean to the design of a phone is optimised for efficient repair and refurbishment. 

Throughout the day four teams created concepts, looking beyond the physical phone itself to things like lifetime data capture, to using the ‘smart’ elements of the Fairphone for use in other products such as washing machines and fridges to reduce duplication, and future business models which would ultimately shift our behavior away from the traditional sale and dispose method used by current phone carriers today.  The end results, as pictured below, show just a couple of the incredible ideas presented at the end of the session. For more information or further insight into the design process at Seymourpowell contact