Recent Parsons grad Ben Chase has taken the now-very-common sustainable technology thesis project to a higher level than we're used to seeing. According to his website and press release, the prototype consists of modular components to facilitate easier upgrades, idles at a mere 27W power consumption, and more importantly, it works, running Windows with 95% functionality, on a recycled 18 inch monitor and 80GB hard drive.
Chase also wins points for approaching the issue of sustainable computing from an unusually sober point of view:
Fundamental to my thesis is the notion that simply making a less toxic or less consumptive product is not inherently "sustainable". Companies designing sustainably need to make lifecycle design their central focus, but more specifically, need to understand the end-user's experience as the consumer is ultimately the most important participatory member of the product sustainability cycle.
Obvious from photos on the website is the fact that, in Chase's on words, the project "did not focus on aesthetics for this prototype," and there's no getting around it -- it is kind of an eyesore. But as a bold step towards realistic alternatives to the current state of technology manufacturing, it's downright gorgeous.