Death By Design

The Dirty Secret of our Digital Addiction

Consumers love – and live on – their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone.

But this revolution has a dark side that the electronics industry doesn’t want you to see. In an investigation that spans the globe, Ambrica investigates the underbelly of the international electronics industry and reveals how even the tiniest devices have deadly environmental and health costs.

DEATH BY DESIGN tells the stories of young Chinese workers laboring in unsafe conditions, American families living with the tragic consequences of the industry’s toxic practices, activists leading the charge to hold brands accountable, and passionate entrepreneurs who are developing more sustainable products and practices to safeguard our planet and our future.

From the intensely secretive electronics factories in China, to the high tech innovation labs of Silicon Valley, Death by Design tells a story of environmental degradation, of health tragedies, and the fast-approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.

Go to to find more information on the issues, shocking facts and tips on how to make your devices last longer.

You won’t look at your iPhone in quite the same way again after viewing Sue Williams’ thoughtful documentary.
— The Seattle Times
Vital. Provocative in its focus on giant American corporations.
— The Hollywood Reporter
You won’t look at your iPhone in quite the same way again after viewing Sue Williams’ thoughtful documentary.
— Moira MacDonald, The Seattle Times
Both jaw-dropping and heartbreaking, Death by Design forces the viewer to reconsider their whole approach to technology.
— Aesthetica Magazine
Everyone should see this film.
— The Stranger
Next time you’re craving the latest smartphone, watch ‘Death by Design’ instead.
— Seattle Business Magazine

Prof. Darin Magee (left) visits electronics recycling center in the U.S.

Foxconn, Apple's biggest supplier.

Undercover footage of factory workers making our devices.

Pile of waste in one of China’s e-waste villages

Women melting e-waste in China.

Ma Jun, Chinese environmentalist and director of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs.

Kyle Wiens (left) and Luke Soules, founders of iFixit.