Advertising creates images of false beauty.
Planetary Folklore: BILLBORED
May 30, 2010
After spending 21 months studying box fabrication and shipping, Fuseproject realized that any improvement to that already lean system would merely be incremental. So instead, the “clever little bag” combines the two packaging components of any shoe sale–the bag and the box–with high-tech ingenuity.
The bag tightly wraps an interior cardboard scaffolding–giving it shape and reducing cardboard use by 65%. Moreover, without that shiny box exterior, there’s no laminated cardboard (which interferes with recycling). There’s no tissue paper inside. And there’s no throw-away plastic bag. The bag itself is made of recycled PET, and it’s non-woven–woven fibers increase density and materials use–and stitched with heat, so that it’s less manufacturing intensive.
The impact: Puma estimates that the bag will slash water, energy, and fuel consumption during manufacturing alone by 60%–in one year, that comes to a savings of 8,500 tons of paper, 20 million mega joules of electricity, 264,000 gallons of fuel, and 264 gallons of water. Ditching the plastic bags will save 275 tons of plastic, and the lighter shipping weight will save another 132,000 gallons of diesel.
The roll-out is planned for next year. After that? Hopefully, the design will become ubiquitous.
May 28, 2010
Design For the First World » About
Dx1W began as a sarcastic comment. The idea came to me in a class in which I was asked to create an object on “social design”. The assignment was one week long and there was no specific context. Why would you assume that you can design something to solve a problem for the so called Third World –a world you don’t know– in a week? Well, because Bono has told us so. Didn’t we all just change the world by going to the Live 8 concerts? Having this assignment in class (in NYU) immediately fired me up and raised my discomfort levels with the attempts from First World agents to solve Third World Problems to nuclear fusion temperatures. I decided to do something about it and this is how this competition was born.
To set things straight I am not questioning the need for aid or the good intentions. What really disturbs me are the paternalistic and misinformed approaches that end up as a waste of resources and cause more harm than good in the long run. This approach to aid has been critiqued before, there’s even a term for this kind of design in academia: parachute design or remote design. What happens when someone does a parachute design is that the well and nicely designed objects aimed to “improve” aspects of a communities are overlooking the real problems and the context of that community, and hence, if lucky, they end up as part of the furniture or as children toys (if they are durable). As a side effect the designer is mocked in that community for years to come and will be dubbed “El gringo” from then on, passing that name on to any other white guy that set foot in that village. Oh we’re such a bunch of smart asses in the developing world.
There are of course (and gladly) plenty of successful attempts to help the developing world. So why am I focusing on the bad? Because there’s more of the Bono and Bob Geldorf and Brangelina type of aid out there than of the useful ones. Yes, its great to have celebrities involved to raise awareness but where does all that money go? I don’t see much change here, instead I see how the developing goals (you know, the “make poverty history”, have clean water, basic education) keep being pushed further into the future.
But there’s something else. Design for the First World shouldn’t be funny. The phrase “Third World minds designing for First World Problems” provokes smiles in many including myself. But why is it funny? Why do we assume that Third World minds shouldn’t be involved in the problems of the First World? In all honesty and boldness I think we (the Third World) have grown accustomed to the top helping the bottom and because of that we’ve grown lazy. We don’t even think things can be both ways. We can help them! I believe there is a need to re-educate ourselves as developing countries and gain agency. Let’s clean the mess in our rooms after we play; our rooms being the whole world.
Furthermore, the problems the First World is having are and should be our concern as well, after all that is where we are heading. We’ve created a culture that relies on aid and we (and them) often discard our responsibility in improving our present conditions and shaping a better future. True, there’s a lot on our plate (problems, that is), but there are enough inspiring individuals in our communities that have stood up and made a difference. It’s time to follow their example and wake up (perhaps in reverse order). Not only are we capable of providing significant contributions to create a better and more sustainable society in both the developed and the developing worlds, it is our responsibility as inhabitants of this planet.
Please get in touch if you wanna discuss anything regarding the competition or this topics.
May 26, 2010
There are lots of things I miss about the late, great graphic designer Alan Fletcher, but the thing I miss the most is arguing with him about design. Some of our most enjoyable arguments involved how to explain design to the 99 percent of the population that Alan pityingly described as “civilians” — in other words, those of us who aren’t lucky enough to be designers. Alan claimed that design only made sense when it was explained visually, because that was how the designer would have conceived it. I argued that words and a few facts, like dates and design movements, could be helpful, too. Wrong, wrong, wrong, Alan snorted. I’d snort back at him, but leafing through a book on the design collection of the Museum für Gestaltung (the Museum of Design) in Zurich makes me wonder whether he was right.
May 24, 2010
With Mr. Lopez on board, talks became serious very quickly. TBS emphasized how young its audience was, a match with Mr. O’Brien’s core viewers. “The lead-ins would be shows like ‘Family Guy’ and ‘The Office,’ which is great for Conan,” Mr. Polone said. Mr. Lopez has the youngest audience in late night with a median age of 33.
May 23, 2010
British intelligence agency MI5 is laying off staffers who “do not have the computer skills to use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.” Welcome to the future!
May 22, 2010