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Dutch designer Dave Hakkens sees a problem with current day smartphones. Often, all we want is to upgrade a component of the phone, say the memory, or the camera. Or one component, or phone feature breaks. In addition to our having to upgrade a device that is for most intents and purposes fine, we also add to landfill.

Hakkens has come up with a solution, a big idea, called Phonebloks, “a phone worth keeping”. With Phonebloks you build the phone you need by adding only the components you want. You only want a basic phone?  Just a screen, a large battery and speaker. If something breaks, or you want to upgrade, or reconfigure the phone – buy only those components that you want to replace or upgrade. Watch the video at the top of this page, and you’ll see how flexible Phonebloks might be. The Lego of the smartphone world.

Not only does Hakkens propose that people build the phone they need, he also sees the various components being supplied by multiple makers. Great idea, but this could be the trickiest part of getting this project from design concept to actual product.

Phonebloks was one of Dave Hakkens’ two 2013 graduation projects from the Design Academy Eindhoven. The other project was ‘Precious Plastic‘, which is “a series of machines to start a small plastic workshop”.

If you’d like to help spread the word about Dave’s Phonebloks project, you can do so by ‘crowdspeaking’ at his Thunderclap page. The Thunderclap campaign is set to end on 29 October 2013.