Posts tagged “reuse”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Design by Use and object repurposing [Pasta&Vinegar] – [Nicolas Nova's written a nicely condensed post on Uta Brandes, Sonja Stich and Miriam Wender's book Design by Use: The Everyday Metamorphosis of Things. (Object re-use and re-purposing is a subject dear to our own hearts – see http://portigal.com/blog/new-uses-for-old-tools/ and http://portigal.com/blog/from-pain-points-to-opportunity-areas/ ) ] Among other sources, Nova quotes Metropolis: "The British sculptor Richard Wentworth once said, I find cigarette packets folded up under table legs more monumental than a Henry Moore. Five reasons. Firstly, the scale. Secondly, the fingertip manipulation. Thirdly, modesty of both gesture and material. Fourth, its absurdity and fifth, the fact that it works.”
  • [from steve_portigal] Shoppers on a ‘Diet’ Tame the Urge to Buy [NYTimes.com] – [Thanks to @gretared] This self-imposed exercise in frugality was prompted by a Web challenge called Six Items or Less (sixitemsorless.com). The premise was to go an entire month wearing only six items already found in your closet (not counting shoes, underwear or accessories). Nearly 100 people around the country, and in faraway places like Dubai and Bangalore were also taking part in the regimen, with motives including a way to trim back on spending, an outright rejection of fashion, and a concern that the mass production and global transportation of increasingly cheap clothing was damaging the environment. An even stricter program, the Great American Apparel Diet, has attracted pledges by more than 150 women and two men to abstain from buying for an entire year. (Again, undies don’t count.) Though their numbers may be small, and their diets extreme, these self-deniers of fashion are representative, in perhaps a notable way, of a broader reckoning of consumers’ spending habits.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Swedish Artist Michael Johansson’s Shipping Container Art [Inhabitat] – [What makes this 3D collage so appealing: is it the scale? The playfulness? The clever conversation between shapes?] Shipping containers are often repurposed as houses, apartments and studios, but Swedish artist Michael Johansson sees them as building blocks for his sculptures.
  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Saad Mohseni Is Afghanistan’s First Media Mogul [NPR] – [Afghan Star producer Saad Mohseni is seeding culture change in Afghanistan by broadcasting shows depicting alternate social mores] Through reality TV, dramas, and soap operas, Afghans are able to see things they hadn't been able to watch for years. Women talking to men, for instance.
  • [from Dan_Soltzberg] Tesla Raises Shocking Amount in NASDAQ Debut [Fast Company] – [Tesla takes it public. I have only anecdotal evidence as to the performance of their vehicles – the last time I was on the road next to a Tesla Roadster, it effortlessly smoked my turbo Miata – but Tesla seems like they're doing things right] For all its ambitions to revolutionize the electric car industry, Tesla Motors has only posted a profit once, back in July 2009. It has released just one car (the Roadster), and sells 10 vehicles per week. And yet Tesla's first day of public trading on the stock market has been an indisputable success.
  • [from steve_portigal] Nicolas Hayek, 82, Dies – Introduced Swatch – Obituary (Obit) – NYTimes.com – By the 1970s, the vaunted Swiss watch industry was in jeopardy. Japanese watchmakers had begun to undercut Swiss prices. And public tastes were shifting from the finely wrought analog timepieces in which Swiss artisans had long specialized to the pale flickering faces of mass-market digital watches. In the early 1980s, with no apparent remedy in sight, a group of Swiss banks asked Mr. Hayek to compile a report on how the watchmaking industry might best be liquidated. Instead, he merged two of its former titans, Asuag and SSIH, which between them owned brands like Omega, Longines and Tissot. Mr. Hayek bought a majority stake in the reorganized group, known as SMH. In 1983, SMH introduced the Swatch. Lightweight, with vibrantly colored bands and breezy novelty faces, it was remarkably inexpensive to produce. (with 51 parts, as opposed to the nearly 100 needed to make a traditional wristwatch.) It retailed for less than $35 when it was first marketed in the United States later that year.

Sustainability Biz

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The Loft store in Tokyo has an entire section that offers a huge range of reusable grocery store bags. Do the Japanese values around “choice” and “sustainability” collide? Does it make sense within that culture? Does it make sense to outsiders?

I had an uncomfortable reaction along the lines of “Oh, crap, something else to buy.” It seemed to contradict my expectations of restraint in a product category that carries a meaning of “sustainable.” Of course, that may not be the meaning that these bags have in Japan.

Low footprint Halloween

We went to a Halloween costume party yesterday. The invite urged/threatened us to create a costume with an emphasis on recycling, so we put together silly costumes that made use of materials we had around the house. We used a bit of tape and a bit of thread, but it was all stuff that was unused or eventually going into the garbage (as much of it did, today).

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Chain taken from an old conference badge. Badge is the reflector from the Ikea “LOCK” light fixture for the headgear, UPC code from empty box of Kong treats.

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Found chain with binder rings and shower ring as holster, battery pack with expired batteries and a storage box from wall-mounting hardware.

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Guns made from old bathroom faucet valve stems and closet hooks. One screwed right into the other easily.

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We took apart an IKEA “Lock” light fixture, and inverted it and stitched it to a baseball cap (with the cap’s button poking through the base’s hole of the same size), then taped the socket upside on top, with the wire connectors as deely-bopper-style endings for the wires.

And the result? Pretty silly!
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Series

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