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Unboxing Tech Toolkit- Materiality of the Smartphone

The Unboxing Tech Toolkit: The Materiality of the Smartphone

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The Unboxing Tech Toolkit is a guide to understanding your smartphone better. While invented only thirty years ago, the smartphone today impacts all aspects of our life. This toolkit will help you deconstruct the single unified notion of a smartphone and  understand- where your smartphone comes from, who all are involved in the making of it, what is it made up of, and finally, where does it go once you dispose of it. This toolkit will help map material flows related to smartphones. 

Why this toolkit?

This toolkit exposes youth to the material perspective on the smartphone using the metaframe of BUY-USE-DISPOSE the three ways in which we commonly interact with devices. The final goal is to increase awareness and encourage more sustainable, conscious technology choices.


The toolkit was showcased at the Re:Publica festival for digital society in Berlin in June 2023, where researchers, civil society, journalists and hackers engaged with the toolkit. The session was hosted by the Global Innovation Gathering. Read more here.

This toolkit will also be conducted as a workshop at the Asia-Pacific Internet Governance Forum, 2023 to be held in Brisbane, Australia in August.

Unboxing Tech Toolkit - Facilitator Guide

Facilitator Guide for Toolkit on The Materiality of The Smartphone

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About the Guide

This guide is meant for educators, teachers, parents or any individual trying to conduct the Unboxing Tech Toolkit series for youth aged between 13-18 years of age. 


The toolkits are designed to give both the facilitator and the user the freedom to use this in multiple settings. This can be part of a classroom, a course on science, a bigger project, a community space, your neighbourhood, or your home.


The Facilitator guide includes:

  • How and where to facilitate the toolkits

  • Set up, Materials and Duration plan 

  • Toolkit Objectives, Key Questions and Concepts

  • Learning Outcomes 

  • Further Engagement Activities 

  • Reading List of Additional Resources 

In addition to the resources relevant for facilitators in the guide, we have created an online Notion Resource List for everyone to benefit from. The Resource List includes articles, books, videos and multimedia resources which expand on the themes touched upon in the toolkit. 

This resource list is a tool for users, educators, parents or anyone interested in digitalisation and its impact on the enviroment, with a passion to work on technology and sustainability. 

Unboxing Tech Toolkit - The Design did it, not me!

The Unboxing Tech Toolkit: The Design did it, not me!

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The Unboxing Tech toolkit is a guide to understanding your smartphone better. The smartphone was invented only 30 years ago, and today it impacts almost all parts of our life. It has transformed how we connect, work, make friends, entertain ourselves, and how we sleep and eat.

Why this toolkit?

Designed with and for young people, this toolkit offers playful and interactive activities to understand how 'dark patterns' can tune our behavior, emotions, and attention. Most importantly, the toolkit offers simple ways for you to regain control.


At RightsCon 2022, the Unboxing Tech Toolkit: Part 1 was opened up to a larger audience as a community lab session where we explored how educators, civil society leaders, policymakers and youth experienced the toolkit, and helped the project reach out to the right audience. 

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