Hardware Hopes explores how we feel about the computers we own and use. We're recording peoples' stories of frustration, love, breakage, repair, upgrading, throwing away… We'd love to hear about your experiences.

The Project

This project has been set up by me, designer Julia Keyte.

I'm collecting computer stories through creative activities and events, as a way of finding out about computers and devices - not the technical side, but how we relate to them as possessions. I'm especially interested in how emotion influences the decision to keep, repair, or dispose of a computer. 



Why I am interested in our relationships to computers

There is a widely held expectation that a computer should be replaced within 2-4 years. Of course, this results in an enormous amount of waste, which suggests we are a very careless and wasteful society. But despite this drive to replace devices, and desire for new things, we often keep computers for longer than expected. I think this is a very interesting contradiction.

The decision to keep, or dispose, of a home computer or device is often a very individual one, influenced by different things. For example, it could be driven by how much money you have, or the storage space you have available at home, your desire for a lovely new device, or frustration with an old one.

I think this subjective and emotional side to using and keeping devices is a key issue for understanding how we could design for sustainable consumption, particularly as devices are becoming increasingly hybrid, and integrated into our lives.

What sorts of devices am I interested in?

I’m interested in the computing devices we keep and use at home. This includes desktops, laptops, tablets and phones, but we are interested in other things too, like gaming devices and printers.

Academic research

Hardware Hopes is part of my doctoral research investigating how the emotional value of a possession relates to how and where it is kept, and the implications for designers.

Find out more about me


Find out more about my research aims

© Julia Keyte 2013