Death By Design

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, award-winning filmmaker Sue Williams 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. Follow DEATH BY DESIGN on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

Press Reviews

“You won’t look at your iPhone in quite the same way again after viewing Sue Williams’ thoughtful documentary” — Moira MacDonald, The Seattle Times

“Vital. Provocative in its focus on giant American corporations.” — John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“Both jaw-dropping and heartbreaking, Death by Design forces the viewer to reconsider their whole approach to technology” — Hannah Clugston, Aesthetica Magazine 

“Everyone should see this film” — Sydney Brownstone, The Stranger

“Next time you’re craving the latest smartphone, watch ‘Death by Design’ instead.” — John Levesque, Seattle Business Magazine

Press Resources




Written and Directed by: Sue Williams

Producers: Hilary Klotz Steinman, Sue Williams

Director of Photography: Sam Shinn

Editor: Adam Zucker

Music: Paul Brill

Executive Producers: Diana Barrett, Dan Cogan, Julie Goldman, Judith Vecchione, Victoria Wang