Thursday, February 4

Great thought on the cultural redefinition of second hand and recycling.....

So an extension to this idea: where the bag isn’t just handed down,
but can tell you what it’s been up to. Could make second-hand stuff
much more desirable than new.


Most things that are used are seen to be diminished by use.
Depreciation is not just an economic concept. It’s a cultural fact.
Once something has been owned by someone it is soiled, profaned,
yuuky, somehow. We continue to have the idea that things come from the
factory in a state of grace. Ready for ownership. Ready for us. Any
ownership diminishes them.

But what if these products were blank, storyless, tedious. What if
objects straight from the factory seemed somehow orphaned, smaller and
less interesting for the fact of their pristine condition. If we care
about recycling, we want objects to be better at absorbing and
recording and reporting their histories. Of course, some objects will
be incapable of telling stories: bottles and newspapers for instance.
But clothing, furniture, technology, these could be storyful. And they
could spared the landfill for one or more cycles of ownership by the
stories they bring us.

There are three problems here. One is technical: how to make the
object capable of recording and then retelling its story. One is
cultural or rhetorical: how to choose and craft the best stories, the
narrative that creates the most value. And the last is economic: how
to figure out how to think about what kind of value this is, and how
it can be measured, distributed, captured and stored in the
marketplace. Oh, we do have our work cut out for us.

via Grant McCracken

Posted via email from sophie's posterous

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