Ugo Vallauri

Fixing our relationship with electronics

“And in case you have a dead #PebbleTimeSteel, let me know if you'd like to send me its battery to try bring mine back from the dead :-)”

The Big Idea

Ugo Vallauri wants to fix our relationship with electronics, putting people and the planet at the centre. More and more of the electronics we use are becoming software-enabled. This provides convenience, but also raises many questions about long-term support and ownership, with designs becoming more disposable and less repairable. The current closed ecosystem of electronics design and manufacture leads to faster obsolescence than ever before. Do we ever really own the electronics in our house or office, or are we merely using it until manufacturers stop providing spare parts? Where do electronics go to die, and how much of it can the planet handle? These are just some of the questions that have driven Ugo to co-found the Restart Project.

Why We Funded

Through Restart’s repair and reuse events, Ugo has gathered valuable data on the weaknesses in the current electronics ecosystem. To bring about change, he is challenging the prevalent business model of manufacturers, and engaging consumers, designers and policymakers to support and promote an industry evolution towards more sustainable, open practices. Ugo’s focus on repair, repurpose and reuse brings a fresh perspective to the maker movement, the Internet of Things, recycling and protecting the environment. It seems easier and more fun to keep creating new things than it is to get to grips with issues of durable designs, sustainable supply chains and effective reuse. Repair augments the original into further and unexpected use. Only openness will make this universally possible.

Ugo’s work focuses on:

  • Empowering people to repair their broken electronics and encouraging reuse
  • Engaging industry to embrace sustainable, open practices
  • Building and supporting repair and reuse communities with open source tools, data and research

Flash Grants

Charlie Ikem
Ben McKenna
Natalie Contreras
Charlie Whitbread
Kasey Hou
Florence Okoye
Yasmine Abbas