Lessons from Maker culture
What can we learn from craft activity and maker culture about doing things for ourselves? How can these approaches help us grow out of our ‘infantile’ consumer culture?
Consume less stuff (but please keep buying ours)
As more brands start to consider the sustainable consumption problem, it’s interesting to see how they negotiate this perennial dilemma: a sustainable future is one in which we consume less, but most brands’ business models are built on us consuming more — or at least more of their products.
More on brands and desire
I wrote recently about the nature of desire in brand design. The tendency for brands to fall back on the stimulation of desire (for novelty, more power, bolstering of self-image) is fundamentally at odds with a sustainable approach to business. But that tendency is so fundamental to the way brands currently work; it’s critical that…
Design for desirability
Recently, I’ve come across fragments of the writing of Kenya Hara. I’ve been trying to track down the primary sources for further investigation, but the key source, his book, Designing Design, is currently selling for £510 on Amazon, so I won’t be reading that any time soon. (By the way, buy the book through that…
Sustainability and sacrifice, resilience and collapse
When we think of sustainability, we often think of sacrifice. Fewer flights, reduced spending, buying andhaving less stuff. And in a world where we are used to having more and more every year, sacrifice doesn’t seem like a viable option. Which leaves us between a rock and a hard place. One way out is to…
Meme tracking: Is the manufacturing industry ripe for a renaissance?
I phrase this as a question, and I’m reluctant to put a time scale on it, because the forces at play are so large and unpredictable. But there are some interesting trends emerging, which may be part of a bigger movement. The consumer world that we’ve enjoyed for the last 50-odd years (cheap plastic goods;…