The practice of planned obsolescence of consumer products includes Apple computers, as you’ll see if you watch the whole film. As a designer who attempts to make things that last, both in their material content and workmanship, the planned failure of other design objects is a slap in the face.
I’m conducting an experiment in which I buy nothing that is designed to fail. I recognize this may be possible only for the very rich. Is the Tesla electric car designed to fail?
From Top Documentary Films:
Planned Obsolescence is the deliberate shortening of product life spans to guarantee consumer demand.
As a magazine for advertisers succinctly puts it: The article that refuses to wear out is a tragedy of business – and a tragedy for the modern growth society which relies on an ever-accelerating cycle of production, consumption and throwing away.
The Light Bulb Conspiracy combines investigative research and rare archive footage to trace the untold story of Planned Obsolescence, from its beginnings in the 1920s with a secret cartel, set up expressly to limit the life span of light bulbs, to present-day stories involving cutting edge electronics (such as the iPod) and the growing spirit of resistance amongst ordinary consumers.
This film travels to France, Germany, Spain and the US to find witnesses of a business practice which has become the basis of the modern economy, and brings back disquieting pictures from Africa where discarded electronics are piling up in huge cemeteries for electronic waste.