- 10:52 am - Fri, Mar 8, 2013
- 44 notes
Interesting product, the idea is to use colored cardboard cut-outs with a bottle or glass of your choice, converting into a “geometric vase.” More here: Design Milk
- 5:02 pm - Mon, Feb 25, 2013
- 1,572 notes
While we’ve highlighted some creative new uses for parts of “dead” umbrellas (our umbrella-related posts are grouped here), this idea’s new to us:
Combine an umbrella frame with one or more strings of icicle lights to yield some pretty unique lighting.
Spotted on Pinterest here. (For those of us wanting additional information: The original Pinterest pin links to a now-defunct blog here as the source; so, no info!)
For earlier lighting-related posts, browse the Unconsumption Tumblr archive here.
- 10:53 am - Sat, Feb 23, 2013
- 375 notes
Carl Richards’ The Case for Spending a Little More Sometimes, which ran last year in The New York Times’s Bucks blog, is written from a financial standpoint, but could be viewed through an environmental lens: Why not buy fewer things — higher-quality items that we really need or want — with the intent of keeping (and using) them for a long time? By doing so, we reduce our ecological footprints, generate less waste, and send less stuff to landfills. Simple.
An excerpt from Richards’ piece:
Here is the issue: when we settle for stuff that we don’t really want, and instead buy stuff that will be fine for a while, it often costs more in the long run.
Too often I think we convince ourselves that buying for the long term doesn’t matter. We can always replace it, right?
But how much simpler would life and our money decisions be if we bought with the goal of owning that item for a long time? Taking this approach puts a new spin on how we spend our money. Maybe it makes us think a little harder about what we’re buying. Maybe it makes us wait a little longer so we can afford exactly what we want. Maybe it makes us a little happier about what we have because we’re buying things we want around for a long time.
Do you agree?
- 7:47 am - Mon, Feb 11, 2013
- 78 notes
Time for new business models based on durable design?
We’ve all done it: as soon as something we own looks slightly tatty or unfashionable, it goes in the bin or the recycling. New is desirable and out of date is disposable in a ‘throw away’ society, a world in which most business models are geared towards selling as much product as often as possible.
But what if a product developed or improved over time? Would we throw it away so readily? Imagine a teacup, for example, which develops a particular pattern in the glaze as it gets older or trainers that fade to reveal a previously invisible pattern as they age.
These are not just concepts. Both of these products were created by students at the University of Brighton to explore the concept of “emotionally durable” design – design that creates a deeper bond between people and products and extends their “use-career”.
More: Time for new business models based on durable design? | Guardian Sustainable Business
- 3:34 pm - Mon, Feb 4, 2013
- 51 notes
Among our posts on junkitecture are several on Dan Phillips, owner of Huntsville, Texas-based Phoenix Commotion, a business that specializes in building small, affordable houses from salvaged materials.
Now Dan (pictured above right) has completed a larger project: a two-story office building in north Houston for a recycling company. Naturally, the building’s constructed from a variety of reclaimed/repurposed materials, including pieces of scrap stone and wood, old street and traffic signs, and CDs, among other items.
Thanks to Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Gray, here’s a great write-up on the project:
From the freeway these days, the first thing you see is the junk-filled mural on the office building’s back. … “T.J. Burdett & Sons Recycling” is spelled out in bits of metal flotsam and jetsam fished from the recycling yard - lots of hubcaps, lots of rust, lots of attitude.
Inside, the building’s walls are straight, but even so, you feel vertigo; there’s too much to look at. The front door leads into a soaring two-story space, its ceiling covered in iridescent CDs; it’s what a disco ball must look like from the inside. The floors, a mosaic made of scrap marble and granite, include a big Texas lone star; more pieces of scrap marble and granite are stacked to form the wall between the main room and the offices. The wall behind the main room’s coffee bar is covered in wide strips from an old T.J. Burdett & Sons sign, one rendered useless when Huntsville’s area code changed. Burdett’s dad had always thought they’d find a use for it.
The little bathroom’s sink is made from a cattle watering basin; an old saxophone, mounted on the wall, dispenses soap. The walls of Bob’s office are covered in old car radiators, fished out of the salvage yard. The radiators have the unexpected benefit of absorbing sound; in that office, you don’t hear the heavy machines rumbling outside. Hood ornaments serve as doorknobs.
Read the rest and see additional photos: Two-story office building made from junk is home to recycling business - Houston Chronicle
(Photo credit: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)
- 9:37 am - Tue, Jan 22, 2013
- 131 notes
The Glad Cafe: Glasgow.
City streets the world over are overflowing with coffee shops, cafes and bistros that cater to people’s unquenchable thirst for caffeine and cake. Yet, finding a green cafe is often a little harder, so we wanted to give you a taste of a new place Inhabitat visited in Glasgow, Scotland which is a great example of a sustainable cafe space.
The Glad Cafe opened in August and it’s brimming with up-cycled green designs. The completed space is a welcoming creative hub that aims to bring together the diverse cultural communities in the Southside of Glasgow through music, art, theatre and coffee!
Photograph by Patrick Jamieson
- 11:13 am - Sat, Jan 12, 2013
- 95 notes
We researched the full lifecycle of mobile phones, from manufacturing, through use, repair, and recycling. In designing the Smarter Phone, we were inspired by the design of desktop computer hard drives, particularly their ease of disassembly, repair and upgrade by components.
We tried to create a product that escapes the problem of rapid obsolescence, since it will be able to meet all of a user’s needs without requiring them to buy a new phone every time they want new or replacement features.
(via Redesigning the Mobile Phone: Building Electronics to Last | Technology on GOOD)