Following the hullabaloo around the now-infamous Beats teardown debacle, we're excited to announce we've got our own teardown series in the works—this one done by a seasoned industrial designer! We're not yet allowed to say what the first object we're tearing down is, but we can tell you it's a tool many of you use.
If you ask the general public what tearing a product down is about, most will say it's about figuring out how much an iPhone actually costs in materials. But to those of you learning industrial design, teardowns can be an incredibly useful way to accelerate your education: Why is the housing shaped like this on the inside? What does this little spring clip do? Why is there a supporting rib here, but not over there?
Professor James Billing, who's a Senior Lecturer of Design at the UK's Nottingham Trent University, sees teardowns as having even more value than that: They can teach students about how to design more sustainable items.
In the following video, produced by the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop, Billing explains what his students can glean by taking cheap toasters and electric kettles apart: