The Product Autopsy workshop led by Powerhouse design resident Ben Styles at the Sydney Design Week Material Labs invites participants to disassemble, analyse and reimagine a selection of consumer goods and products, rebuilding them by hand using a variety of materials and assembly techniques.
Radical innovation in product design has flourished over the past century and materialised in the appliances, devices and artefacts designed to enhance our daily lives. This workshop presents an alternative to the throwaway culture encouraged by industrial manufacture and invention on an unprecedented global scale, asking us instead to consider repairing or upgrading these objects.
Ben Styles is a Powerhouse design resident and a designer with a focus on materiality and assembly methods combining craft, traditional making techniques and industrial fabrication. He is interested in speculative design and using emerging materials to develop objects that critique how mass-manufactured processes constrain consumers’ capacity to value, upkeep and repair everyday objects.
Styles seeks to explore design thinking with the broader public, prompting discussions by audiences outside of industry on the design intent of products surrounding us. As a research assistant at UTS Material Ecologies Design Lab at University of Technology Sydney he conducts bio-materials development; he is also a tutor and workshop facilitator in design-led thinking and product design sustainability.
Styles has exhibited at the Australian Design Centre as part of Workshopped and was a selected designer for the UTS x IKEA Australia collaboration and exhibition in 2017.
On Gadigal land
Sydney Design Week Material Labs
Shops 4–7 Eddy Ave Central Station
Haymarket NSW 2000
Free, bookings requried
23 September 2023