Informal E-waste Recycling 



A design concept that envisions the encapsulation of electronic devices in an easy-to-dismantle outer layer.

Case study ➛


Undocumented E-Waste

53.6 Million Metric Tonnes of total electronic waste generated in 2019. Only 17.4% was collected and remaining 44.27 Million metric tonnes of e-waste was undocumented and shipped off to informal recycling systems.

$57 B 

Recoverable Material value

Value of gold, silver, copper, platinum and other high-value, recoverable materials were mostly dumped or recycled using informal and traditional dismantling methodologies.

Read Global E-waste Monitor 2020 report ➛ 

Field Research


Field research was conducted for 3 Months at a political and violence inflicted informal electronic waste recycling site in Mexico city to understand the perspective of the dismantlers. They break almost a million tons of laptops, desktops, TV screens, microwaves, mobile phones, and many other consumer electronic objects using only handheld tools like hammer, chisel, and knife.



A voluntary re-enactment of a typical working day in an informal e-waste recycler’s life. It documents the unseen traditional ‘strength based’ dismantling strategies of breaking different electronic devices.

View Dismantler’s Style ➛
Watch Documentation ➛

Design Innovation 


A material exploration that envisions the dismantling of consumer electronic products using simple and traditional methods. It explores recyclable materials with such chemical and physical properties that supports the act of recovering useful electronic components.

Research Questions
1. What can industrial design learn from reality of informal dismantling process?

2. What if the outer casing of electronic devices are meant to be opened with simple tools?

View Material Exploration ➛

 Product Design

Bluehaze DS1 Game Controller

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