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Alexandre Rodrigues

Alexandre Rodrigues

Alexandre is a PhD student in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. Alexandre has a strong interest in environmental sustainability through design and his research is looking at optimised lifespans for passenger cars: more specifically, how automotive design can contribute to and influence the reduction of material demand through strategies such as structure modularity, re-use of (more) parts, upgradability, improved manufacturing and re-manufacturing.

Alexandre's interest stemmed from reflection on the automotive industry as a whole, producing more than 80 million cars a year worldwide, and how vehicles are used and disposed, often too soon, despite their potential to last longer. Also the impending scarcity of raw materials due to an expected rise in global population and a growing middle class who will demand more new products and put more pressure on an already polluted and saturated environment.

Alexandre's research will address the design stage and its influence on product use, durability, longevity and new forms of personal mobility; it will also consider assembly and disassembly processes and business models in order to understand how this interconnected relationship of three processes / disciplines can contribute to reducing material demand from a product longevity perspective and divert materials from end-of-life and give them an extended life. A design framework will be devised to assist automotive designers to incorporate optimised lifespans throughout the development of passenger vehicles.

In order to accomplish this Alexandre interviewed key people in the automotive industry who have influence in car design and development. The data gathered from experts will be analysed and will inform the design framework.

Alexandre has an automotive industry background and a degree in automotive product design. Alexandre also studied business administration and lectured in Product Design and Marketing for two years. Alexandre is also a storybook author with a published anthology.

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