Products designed to nudge us

14 Jul

There is a growing palette of products designed with a double brief – besides fulfilling their usual product  requisites, they should also nudge us towards more sustainable behaviour. The personal hygiene products category seems to be a popular one for these designs, no doubt because of their frequent, if not daily use. Here’s an example of hand-crafted soap, inspired by melting glaciers and icebergs.

a_glacier_adrift_soap_william_lee a_glacier_adrift_soap_william_lee_4b-thumb-468x310-68793The soaps were designed by William Lee, you can see more of his stuff over at Industrial Strength while the soaps are sold over at Young Stellar Object. About the glacier soaps Lee is quoted as saying, “I wanted to create something that was unattainable to many. To transport a piece of iceberg straight from the Arctic to your hands. When you hold it, it looks and feels like a precious jewel. Something you want to guard and protect.”

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When buying clothing

1 Jul

SimplyRainer and I have this little household rule that we devised for the Kitchen Kingdom: If we wish to buy a new, electric kitchen appliance, we must give up of an old one. That way we try to curb increasing energy needs in the home galley. So, last time, instead of getting an electric meat-cheese-bread-whathaveyou cutter, we got a manual one. That means, instead of plug-and-play, you have to master the art of the manual slicer … at least a little bit. Actually, we also apply that rule to cookbooks, but more to curb our rapacious recipebook hunger (and, more to the point, our limited space for the books in the kitchen). Anyway, I had to think of our Little Rules when I saw this ragbag idea today: It s a shopping bag which you get with new clothing purchases, turn it inside out and put old, unneeded clothing in, close and send by pre-paid post to a charity of your choice.

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Uniforms for the Dedicated , which is where this initiative comes from, started off as a Swedish artsy collective and is now or includes a fashion label under the same name and a store in Stockholm. Currently their 2014 collection runs with silver fox (or Smoking Fox, as UftD calls it) Aiden Shaw. My, what an interesting character…

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Embracing imperfections

13 May

506a2a76fb04d60a47000e15__w_530_h_530_s_fit_kleinWhat we did to pottery and ceramic ware yesterday, we can do to walls, rooms and houses today: enhance cracks, cuts, bruises and breaks by purposefully incorporating them . Olivo Barbieri’s image entitled Napoli shows this beautifully. Ironically enough Olivo’s print is worth a fair bit … as you can see on p. 216 in the issuu-based auction catalogue Italia.  Image found on FFFFOUND!; followed to ApartmentTherapy and beyond to David John’s site YouHaveBeenHereSomeTime.

Repair it, fixit, kintsugit

9 May

Kintsugi – a traditional Japanese technique for our modern times: Sustainable Habits include repairing things and fixing stuff – remember the Repair Manifesto here? Kintsugi takes it a level higher: You don’t just keep something [broken]. You don’t just fix it as best you can [and feel its lost its worth]. You keep it, fix it and make the fix so special you add to the value.

Kintsugi_kleinKintsugi – means to repair broken ceramic ware using gold joinery. Kintsugi involves attaching the broken pieces using lacquer (urushi) and applying gold powder to the join. DIY variants mix gold powder with adhesives. Also, there are similar techniques using silver or copper. Step-by-step pics shown here and on an antique bonsai pot here.

kintsugi-treasure-vessels--UDU2Ny0xMDg1MjUuNDgxMTIz_kleinkintsugi_2_klein???????????????????????????????Kitsugi restores functionality to something broken, though others contend that that is not its purpose. Kintsugi transforms by purposefully including damage and keeping it visible, indeed, highlighting it, imbuing an item with new characteristics. Kintsugi adds beauty and worth,  it turns scars, destruction and damage into the most valuable part of the piece and immortalizes in gold, silver, bronze or copper. Kintsugi: art, aesthetics and appreciation.

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Sarkis Zabunyan, a Turkish-born, Paris-based Armenian artist, was commissioned by  Bernardaud, a Limousine porcelain brand (no, make that a French national icon) in lieu of the 150 year company celebrations in 2013. Sarkis, inspired by kitsugi, designed a 12-piece dinner plate set of individually crafted plates.

Do some reading on The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics here, recommended by Kenetha J. Stanton in her blog entry ‘About Kitsugi’ here. Vimeo clip on Ifixit here (you can take a Repair It Pledge on Ifixit here). First seen [Kitsugi] on ThisIsColossal here.

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There are too many greenhouse gases

1 Apr

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A new perspective on what luxury is

26 Mar

“Good food is no luxury for us, quite the contrary, bad food and then even paying for it, that is luxury!”

Free translation of something said by Imanol Jaca, Txogitxu, San Sebastian, Spain

Plucked from the article “Die fette alte Kuh und ihr Liebhaber” by Vijay Sapre (text) & Andrea Thode (photos) in Effilee, no. 24, Spring 2013

Der Mann hat Perspektive

26 Mar

“Gutes Essen ist für uns kein Luxus, im Gegenteil, schlecht essen und dann auch noch dafür zahlen, das ist Luxus!”

Imanol Jaca, Txogitxo, San Sebastian, Spanien

Aus dem Beitrag “Die fette alte Kuh und ihr Liebhaber” von Vijay Sapre (Text) & Andrea Thode (Fotos), Effilee, #24 Frühling 2013