Saturday, November 01, 2008

Stuff happens

My cousin Marcos posted about this movie by Annie Leonard on his "eco-blog". He's absolutely right to say that her explanation is very clear. The problem with a linear system is that it is unsustainable. It's just terrible to think that we designers are part of that "conspiracy".
story of stuffFrom its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.
I've been saying for quite a while the same thing other systems we're gladly adopting without further thoughts, like "democracy", etc. but that's another debate. Of course, as designers we're part of that linear system... we know that every design decision translates into an effect: remember the infamous "form follows function". However, we don't take full responsibility of our acts as designers. Who cares about wasting materials and energy during production? when at the end we get a nice product. Who cares about poisonous substances? when at the end you get a nice product like the iPhone for example. Whe cares about neurotoxins? when you get a nice and soft, flame retardant pillow. Like I said before, it's terrible when design awards go to the most successful sellers, and not to the most successful in thoughtfully considering the holistic impact of the product.

It's all about the numbers. Just like these amazing pictures (via) by Chris Jordan show us:

New Car Lot, Tacoma 2004 - Chris Jordan
Crushed cars #2, Tacoma 2004 - Chris Jordanciao
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