Is modern technology killing future designers, enginners and inventors?

Are current day electronics killing the next generation of tinker’ers, modifiers, inventors, designers and engineers?

As a kid I took apart everything. I mean everything from simple mechanical objects, bicycles, door locks and latches to electronic calculators and computers. I consider this part of my design education and made me what I am today.

Have you ever tried to take apart an iphone? if you have done this – you know that it’s a risky process, as the level of miniaturisation and complex manufacturing methods make things really tricky to see how things work. Most of the time it can be destructive, ie you will learn but the object will be destroyed. I have replaced a battery on an i-phone, it was quite rewarding to crack one apart and see whats inside. It took special tools, a lot of care and patience. Patience that I would not have as a kid. Part of the joy was that I did not break it.

With this level of risk, parents really don’t want their kids taking apart $600 iphones! This also brings up a great question about sustainability – if these devices are so difficult to take apart – what are the chances that they will be recycled? or repaired?

This post was inspired by ifixit.com , as I heard a talk on NPR from the founder of i-fix it on the same subject.

What do you think?

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