You peer through last season's Ikea blinds to see the neighbour's parking space, where a sulking Dyson now garnishes a skip filled with construction rubble, dotted with the broken fragments of a once-craved avocado bathroom suite. Next to it, a sun-yellowed CRT monitor showing UV decay, like a scorched tourist nearing the journey's end. We produce 40 tonnes of waste to make a tonne of products, and 98 per cent of these products are dumped within just six months of purchase. In a world smothered in people and products, it must be questioned what – beyond a conventional understanding of functionality – is all this 'meaningful stuff' really for, and why does it transform into 'meaningless rubbish' so quickly?
This lecture challenges the throwaway society, presenting a broad panorama of design tools, methods and frameworks that build resilience into the relationships established between users and products. Enhancing resource efficiency and brand loyalty by designing things that people want to keep for longer – an approach Professor Chapman calls 'emotionally durable design'. This ongoing research has shaped design and business thinking at some of the world's leading consumer brands, from sports products at Puma, to advanced electronics concepts at SONY.