At the Hardware Redesign Club, no piece of technology goes to waste, thanks to a group of tech-savvy students dedicated to thinking of creative uses for old hardware. From repurposing broken calculators to fixing old computers and speakers, no task is too big (or small) for the club members when it comes to their sustainable, no-waste approach.
The club was established in September 2022 by club president Daniel Caetano and is now holding weekly meetings where club members are working on projects and learning about technology in the hope of growing the club’s outreach.
“It has a lot to do with sustainability and keeping good technology running,” Caetano said. “I started with this by helping family members when they would find that their computer or other hardware was running slow, and I would repurpose them.”
“Good materials shouldn’t be put to waste because it was slow at one task, because it can be used for other tasks that people aren’t considering,” he added.
Caetano decided to start the club to connect with other students who would have the same interests in hardware redesign. Caetano assures members that no knowledge of hardware or technology is needed to join the club. He encourages anyone to join and learn about how hardware works and what can be done to repurpose it. A large portion of the club’s meeting time is dedicated to sharing knowledge and learning about the hardware they are working with through open discussions and questions.
“I was inspired to create the club because of one of my hardware classes,” Caetano remembered. “I could see that a lot of people were interested in learning about hardware but were not fully aware of how exactly any of it works and I enjoyed helping others learn and piquing their interests.”
At recent meetings, club members dove into the making of common household items that tend to break down, such as calculators and remote controls. The group brainstormed ideas on how to fix the items or repurpose even the smallest of materials for other uses. This included having fun breaking the objects open and analyzing the inner workings of the technology to figure out what each part could be used for. The club usually saves all of the old hardware being taken apart in the hopes of using it in future projects.
Ryan Harris is the vice-president of the club and has big plans.
“In the future, we’re hoping to get into Arduinos, which are microcontrollers that you can program to make technology do all sorts of stuff,” he said. “The great thing about this club is we can take advantage of all of the old hardware being dumped at thrift stores, so we have plenty to use and it is quite sustainable.”
“We’re hoping to go over common, everyday objects and teach people how they work, how to properly take them apart, redesign them, fix them, or find a new use for them,” he continued.
The club’s meetings are a way for everyone to get together, ask questions, brainstorm ideas, and learn about the inner workings of different pieces of hardware. The club has grown to over 20 members with exciting projects to come.
Logan Smout is a new member who is looking forward to seeing how the club progresses.
“It’s really cool to just be around people who love learning about things and seeing how things work,” he said. “We’re going to be taking technology like TVs, calculators and speakers and we’re just going to figure out how they work, disassemble them and look into the science behind the technology.”
“I think it’s really cool to just explore everyday objects and really see how they work and what we can do to keep them around,” he added.
If you are interested in sustainability and the inner workings of the technology around you, the Hardware Redesign Club may just be the perfect fit. For more information on how to join the club visit https://www.mohawkstudents.ca/get-involved/clubs-directory/.