The Right-to-repair Movement and Sustainable Design Implications: a Focus on Three Industrial Sectors

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Saidani, Michael; Kim, Alicia; Kim, Madeline
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 3463-3472
DOI number:


While products get more challenging to repair, the right-to-repair movement aims to empower consumers in their ability to “use, modify, and repair” a device “whenever, wherever, and however” they want. Here, the best design practices and remaining challenges of three industrial sectors – namely, consumer electronics, biomedical devices, and clothing industry – are investigated in light of the right-to-repair movement. Based on literature reviews and industrial surveys, a SWOT analysis is provided for each sector, and sustainable implications for product repair readiness are drawn. Concretely, recommendations to design, develop and sell products with right-to-repair in mind are given by sector. Future directions for a more quantitative assessment and implementation of design for product repair are discussed to ensure the augmentation of the circularity and sustainability performance of products.

Keywords: Design for X (DfX), Sustainability, Circular economy, Right-to-repair, Product design

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