Broke an iPhone? Twice Used Turns it into a Piece of Art

November 18, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Ever thought what would happen if you accidentally dropped your smartphone, which costs a fortune? Well, there are a good number of people who already did that.

Twice Used targets such iPhones and has come up with a new project, to make interesting pieces out of damaged pieces that are damaged beyond repair. They make furniture, jewelry and even kitchen accessories out of such pieces.

Twice Used is led by Chris Koerner, a phone and iOS screen repair specialist and the owner of Alabama based LCD Cycle. A Kickstarter campaign was launched on Friday to raise funds in this regard. From picture frames to pieces of jewelry, Twice Used is all set to take artistic expedition to a completely new level.

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The idea struck Koerner when he found while working in his first phone repair shop. He says that out of every four iPhones three made way to his store which later became his three business ventures.. Phone Restore was one such unit designed for irreparable phones.

Koerner says that only 75 percent of the iPhones are recyclable, the rest 25 percent were pointlessly being stacked up in the warehouse. This was mainly because of the broken LCD screens. He says that there are three parts to an iPhone screen, the LCD, the digitizer or in other words the touch recognizer and the glass.

According to Koerner as long as the LCD is working the phones can be recycled, but there isn’t much you do if it is damaged.

So with this huge pile of iPhones that were of no use otherwise, Koerner decided to get imaginative instead of going ahead with the usual Apple recycling program which involves wither landfill or the cumbersome form-filling processes.

They caught hold of an artist, one of Koerner’s acquaintance who made a 3×3-foot canvas for the University of Alabama on which he painted an “A” on the shattered iPhone glass. This was an instant hit.

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Eventually, Phone Restore had at least one piece of similar artwork in each of its three stores, and Koerner began thinking of ways to expand that to items that can be sold both for their functional purpose and as an ironic twist on the utility of broken phone screens.

It was after Koerner sold his business to a competing device repair store that he found his new company, LCDcycle, to give birth to the Twice Used project. He now owns a 2,000 square feet of space that he has exclusively kept aside for this project.

LCD cycle now employs nine people and Koerner hopes to expand the number soon. The campaign itself was to fund the initial necessities to start with high scale production.

Though they do not need to buy glass, Koerner says that they do need other materials, like cork for instance. They would also need a milling machine that can produce stainless steel. The campaign is to raise about $ 10,000 and also the labor that will go into the making of the products.

His team, has about 20,000 pieces of devices in all to work on right now. Koerner hopes to partner with other repair shops to put up a good work. These pieces will also be show pieces, decorations made of broken technology does seem amusing, doesn’t it? Koerner says, “Each screen tells a story — a story of clumsiness and everlasting remorse”.

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Koerner says he has seen the strengths of the product, the iPhone, to great levels. There was a massive outbreak in Alabama in April, 2011. Koerner’s stores in a strip mall lot was the only shop left standing, when it opened again man brought in an iPhone that had gone through a lot.

Koerner says the man was blown out of his building, into the parking lot and he found his phone across under a pile of rubble. When he saw the phone, it was still working. Koerner’s team fixed his phone because its LCD miraculously remained intact. And if it had not, with Twice Used, Koerner has interesting things to do.

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