Inaugural PLATE conference

The inaugural PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) conference was held at the Nottingham Conference Centre from 17-19 June 2015. Established and hosted by Nottingham Trent University, this was the first international conference to examine product lifetimes in the context of sustainability.

The groundbreaking event included keynote presentations, discussion, debate and workshops, an exhibition and a gala dinner held at the historic venue of St. Mary’s Church, in the heart of Nottingham’s Lace Market. We reviewed current research on how and why increased product lifetimes have become an important element in resource efficiency, waste reduction and low carbon strategies for sustainability. Academic researchers, industry representatives and policy stakeholders shared knowledge and experience on the influence that product longevity has on environmental, economic and social sustainability.

In total, 110 delegates from 16 countries attended.  Over three days 66 papers and 6 workshops drawn from a multi-disciplinary and international perspective, debated the conference’s main themes, including design approaches to product longevity, strategies for product lifetime optimisation and consumer influences on product lifetimes.

PLATE was deemed to be a great success, with the majority of respondents from the feedback survey finding it to be of excellent or good quality in relation to the papers, the event itself, the exhibition and the social entertainments. The conference concluded with an enthusiastic discussion of plans to hold another PLATE conference in 2017. Delegates felt that it was essential to keep the momentum of discussions around this important topic going, and growing, and the PLATE conference was found to be an ideal platform for doing this.

An exhibition ran alongside the conference and showcased work from delegates, NTU students, staff as well as designers, artists and social businesses. The topic of product longevity was explored in innovative ways through prototypes, objects, photographs and film, amongst other mediums. This, too, was well received by delegates, NTU staff and students and the general public.

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