SMART: Design for recycling

More than 1.5 new billion mobile phones come into the market every year, but what happens when we no longer use them? Are they being properly recycled? Does design influence the recovery of materials? If so, how could we design these devices for better recycling?

To answer these questions, we seek a student to conduct research within the field “Digital Sustainability”, on the connections between the design of information technology, its (digital) materiality, and the recycling. We use life cycle thinking to explore the relations among different life cycle phases of the product – the mobile phone – as well as possible unintended consequences.

The findings of this master thesis can form the basis for a design component (e.g. a mobile phone or interface prototype) and/or theoretical explorations on policies and practices.


This project is part of SMART, a large EU-financed research project. SMART is coordinated by the Law Faculty of the UiO and has a multidisciplinary team of scholars in different countries. Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the circular economy strategy, it aims at finding a greater policy coherence for development.

IFI leads the research on one of its case studies, the mobile phone. We take a life cycle approach to investigate the sustainability of mobile phones from their design all the way to their disposal and recycling. As a master student in the SMART project, you will have access to its international network of scholars, and be part of the research team in Oslo.   


Language for the master thesis: English




IN5010 - Design, Technology & Society


SUM4019 - Consumption, Sustainability and Social Change

IN2020 – Research Methods in Interaction Design (/Human-Computer-Interaction)

INxxxx – “Practical part” to IN2020, run first time in spring 2020

IN5470 - Advanced Research Topics in Design of IT

IN5530 - Research through Design

Emneord: Sustainability, sustainable design, e-waste, recycling, life cycle thinking, circular economy
Publisert 21. des. 2018 12:09 - Sist endret 21. des. 2018 12:09

Omfang (studiepoeng)