Dave Hakkens: The last phone you'll ever need

Meet the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate who could help revolutionise cellular technology.
Posted 7 Jul 14 By Design Indaba Duration: 00:03:10 Product Design Interviews / Video Interviews Comments

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Making the world better by making things is Dave Hakkens’ mission. The recent graduate of Design Academy Eindhoven set out to design a phone that would reduce the amount of e-waste caused by rapid improvements in cellular technology. The result was Phonebloks, which has been widely hailed as "the last phone you will ever need".

Phonebloks reimagines the way we fix, upgrade and customise our cellphones by using a simple plug-and-play principle. If, say, the camera breaks or the battery dies, that component can simply be unplugged from the phone's grid-like connecting board and replaced. This also gives users more flexibility to tailor their phone to their specific needs and preferences, by adding a bigger battery, camera or speaker.

I hope the device is something that will create change and reduce e-waste, says Hakkens.

The Dutch designer also rethought how he took his product to market: rather than develop the design and then try to sell it, he sought consumer buy-in for his idea first. He posted a video of the Phonebloks concept to Facebook and Thunderclap, a 'crowd-speaking' platform, where it received support from 370 000 000 people. Hakkens is now working with Motorola to transform Phonebloks into a reality.

People, not only designers, are able to achieve anything by using their own creativity, he says. "I believe people can get inspired when they see that designers are not the only ones solving the world’s problems. People should use their creativity and work together to solve these problems."  

Hakkens spoke as part of the Pecha Kucha programme at Design Indaba Conference 2014.