Unconsumption means the accomplishment of properly recycling your old cellphone, rather than the guilt of letting it sit in a drawer.
Unconsumption means the thrill of finding a new use for something that you were about to throw away.
Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a service like Freecycle (or Craigslist, Goodwill, or Salvation Army) to find a new home for the functioning DVD player you just replaced, rather than throwing it in the garbage.
Unconsumption means enjoying the things you own to the fullest – not just at the moment of acquisition.
Unconsumption means the pleasure of using a pair of sneakers until they are truly worn out – as opposed to the nagging feeling of defeat when they simply go out of style.
Unconsumption means feeling good about the simple act of turning off the lights when you leave the room.
Unconsumption is not about the rejection of things, or the demonization of things. It’s not a bunch of rules.
Unconsumption is an idea, a set of behaviors, a way of thinking about consumption itself from a new perspective.
Unconsumption is free.
Founder & Editor:Rob Walker, journalist, Savannah, GA
Editorial & Community Manager: Molly Block, marketing and business development geek, Houston, TX
Benjamin Yates creates futuristic looking cityscapes—think Blade Runner’s Los Angeles crossed with 60s retro-futurism—made from old electronic parts, like old circuit boards, and lights them up so they look all pretty and colorful.
He houses them inside perspex coffee tables, and they contain miniature people, old VCRs, and digital picture frames.
He calls them Electri-Cities and he’ll even produce them so they can play music and, incredibly, check your email. That’s right, a musical, dystopian coffee table that can check emails—that’s the sort of furniture anybody can get excited about.
The two main goals were first, to avoid sending items with “functional value” to the landfill by reworking their components into new pieces and second, to promote the reuse of items that can alternatively find value elsewhere.
CLOUD is an interactive lighting installation designed by Caitlind Brown for Nuit Blanche Calgary – an all-night art festival that took place on September 15th.
Brown began the project by collecting old burnt-out incandescent bulbs from people in the community. CLOUD received contributions from individual households, museums, historic attractions, arenas, and Eco Stations. The project was an experiment in community collaboration and re-imagining the potential of garbage as well as a beautiful art installation.
Once they had enough bulbs, Brown and her team built a metal cloud-shaped frame to which they attached over 6,000 old bulbs.
Visitors stood underneath the cloud and played with it by turning lights on and off. There are so many lights that it’s uncertain which string connects to which light, so visitors would spend minutes trying to get them all off or on….
Woodguards [alternative to traditional bike mudguards] are made using re-claimed European and African timber and brightly coloured formica. They look fantastic and are very practical (they are actually lighter than your average plastic mudguards).
Each pair are hand-made in Edinburgh, with a furniture-makers skill and attention to detail.
Answering the problem of privacy when making a call from a cellular phone, ‘buzzihood’ provides an acoustic cocoon you can hang on the wall. when ‘in the hood’ you are able to answer the phone in peace.
Even when in noisy surroundings, the caller is protected but not isolated.
The felt is made from 100% recycled PET bottles and provides a graphic and architectural element to any space.
I came across this while reading one of my favorite blogs, The Improvised Life. They posted this from treasure from trash, dumpster to garden installation called Ten Yards of Futopia by Michael Bernstein (via Design Boom).
The installation is in Long Island City, NY.
From Design Boom’s description:
New York born designer Michael Bernstein has developed a plan for a series of small gardens, and forests to be placed in recycled refuse dumpsters. His project Ten Yards refers to the payload capacity of each dumpster.
Once constructed, these gardens can be installed with relative ease in any urban location; just as easily, they can be picked up by truck and moved to a new location.
These units of greenery can be dispatched to neighborhoods in need of green spaces, each consisting of two rows of regionally grown pine trees.
French design team corinne muller and piotr oleszkowicz of best before have been creating baskets of different forms from recycled paper using macramé. To create the fibers, the duo hand-roll the paper into long pieces of twine. The strands are then knotted in order to achieve the shapes.
Carolina Fontoura Alzaga makes painstakingly intricate chandelier sculptures and lighting fixtures from bicycle parts that she salvages from scrap metal yards and bicycle shop dumpsters all around Los Angeles. In making this profile, I was struck by how her social and political consciousness are woven into her life and work.
dmitriy khristenko, a USA-based ukrainian-born artist, creates miniature replicas of motorcycles and other vehicles (such as quad bikes, tricycles and bicycles), all built entirely from recycled wristwatch parts. the wristbands are circled into tires while the glass of each timepiece face becomes the windshield of these model-sized vehicles.
after khristenko disassembles each watch to begin the construction of one of his sculptures, he organizes and pairs components from various timepieces to combine them in one single structure. the artist binds the recycled watch parts together with glue to create a remarkably intricate finished work.
We [have seen] phone booths being converted into lending librariesand now … aquariums. The Japanese art collective Kingyobu (Goldfish club) have been turning phone booths into goldfish aquariums throughout Osaka as part of the city’s Canvas Project art festival. Kinda crazy. Kinda fun.
Perhaps surprisingly, Unconsumption covered an earlier phone booth-as-aquarium project here. But still.
Broad selection of phone booth reuse projects here.