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Designs too good to waste
Washington Post ^ | June 13, 2010 | Blake Gopnik

Posted on 06/14/2010 6:47:26 AM PDT by La Lydia

Here is a hard truth about 21st-century Americans: "You have no culture. All you guys do is buy things." That was the constant complaint that Sarah Waxman, a design student at Pratt Institute, heard during her junior year abroad. Contemplating those charges put her in a quandary: Her field was all about promoting a culture of buying.

The designs Waxman submitted for class tried to lock horns with the problem. She made a cast-ceramic wallet that asks you to consider "the things that you're consuming in the act of being a purchaser." Its strange heft in your pocket, its fragility, the unease in its use (you have to pull off a rubber strap to get at your money) makes the act of buying feel vexed...Waxman is selling a radical new credo for design: An object built on truly novel, conscientious principles ought to reject the old consumerist ones...In fact, ambitious designers may need to come up with objects that convince us that not buying them might be the best thing we could do....

Our deadliest problems -- environmental, economic and political -- come out of the goods we cherish. Our huge new houses eat up energy, then throw it back into the air as wasted heat and light...The people who designed those goods helped get us into this mess, and now a few are keen to get us out...

A Dutch designer named Jetske de Groot designs chairs made from usable scraps of other chairs that have broken. She mates a chromed bottom with a turned-wood top, the base of a bar stool with the back of a task chair. But rather than covering up the awkward moments where two chairs meet, de Groot emphasizes them, by fixing the joints with huge wads of colored epoxy...

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: algore; green; propaganda; ugly
This amazing piece of nuttiness/propaganda was the lead story in the Post's Style section Sunday. Is it any wonder they are circling the drain? And the stuff is all really, really, ugly. A ceramic billfold and huge wads of colored epoxy! And they are imposing used, recycled bathtubs on innocent children.
1 posted on 06/14/2010 6:47:27 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia

You want elegant design that also requires a brain? Try Apple?

What a bunch of moronic idiocy. As if Europe provides any reason at all for us to mimic it.


2 posted on 06/14/2010 6:49:37 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: La Lydia

“Here is a hard truth about 21st-century Americans: “You have no culture. All you guys do is buy things.”
*****************

Think having become Heinz-57 citizens of the globe mighta had anything to do with it?


3 posted on 06/14/2010 6:50:01 AM PDT by gunnyg (Surrounded By The Enemy Within--~ Our "Novembers" Are Behind Us...If Ya Can Grok That!)
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To: La Lydia

We never had a culture because we’ve never really been one country.

We have multiple cultures due to the fact and that’s why there can never be one “American culture.”


4 posted on 06/14/2010 6:52:30 AM PDT by AzaleaCity5691
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To: Da Coyote

Did you see the furniture and the bathtubs? The Europeans actually design stunning furniture, especially the Italians, without all the nuttiness and preaching. Imagine Prada trying to sell a ceramic billfold to stylish Romans.


5 posted on 06/14/2010 6:52:37 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia

Well, if consumers don’t buy anything, then WHY DO WE NEED DESIGNERS? What are they designing? Things for people to buy that don’t? I was an art student in the 70’s and we constantly received this garbage message from our elitist profs. They thought their art should be subsidized by the government.


6 posted on 06/14/2010 6:54:10 AM PDT by FrdmLvr ( VIVA la SB 1070!)
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To: La Lydia
"You have no culture. All you guys do is buy things."

That explains why the world doesn't watch American movies or TV shows, or listen to our music.

7 posted on 06/14/2010 6:58:25 AM PDT by poindexter
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To: gunnyg

“But rather than covering up the awkward moments where two chairs meet, de Groot emphasizes them, by fixing the joints with huge wads of colored epoxy...”

So this clown and his ilk are superior to us because he makes trash ?

Good for them. Keep it. Here is my response for when someone says “Americans don’t make, they just buy”

“... F*ck you.”


8 posted on 06/14/2010 7:00:52 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: La Lydia

American Culture/art to Me:

1) a Remington 870 shotgun sculpture in my garden
2) The beautiful ballet that is college football
3) the painting of Ronald Reagan that hangs in my living room
4) the Obama toilet paper in my bathroom
5) the symphony of sounds coming from my Harley


9 posted on 06/14/2010 7:03:03 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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To: Le Chien Rouge

What about the Miró in your study and your Barcelona chairs? ;)


10 posted on 06/14/2010 7:06:12 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: Le Chien Rouge
You forgot the custom made fishing rods, flies, spoons, jigs, and spinner baits.
11 posted on 06/14/2010 7:07:48 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: La Lydia

Fine, maybe we should cut back on our purchases.

I vote we start with fag designer clothes and Hollywood movies.


12 posted on 06/14/2010 7:09:16 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Never trust anyone who points their rear end at God while praying.)
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To: Celerity

I like that!

Here!
Send ‘em an email too!

;)

http://www.amishrakefight.org/gfy/


13 posted on 06/14/2010 7:13:04 AM PDT by gunnyg (Surrounded By The Enemy Within--~ Our "Novembers" Are Behind Us...If Ya Can Grok That!)
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To: La Lydia

Recycling? Yes, it’s been done. And for the record, the “new” houses are much more environmentally friendly.


14 posted on 06/14/2010 7:19:19 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: Celerity
Here is my response for when someone says “Americans don’t make, they just buy”

“... F*ck you.”

I like the way you think!

15 posted on 06/14/2010 7:21:14 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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To: subterfuge

The real reason I’ve truncated my responses is that those people are obviously too ignorant to understand a reasonable answer.

If they were smart enough, they would know already : the United States has invented, developed, improved, concocted and designed more than any nation in the history of the world.

And we continue to do so. I don’t give a rat’s ass about some euro-trashes repugnant little bar stool made from garbage. I hope he chokes on it.


16 posted on 06/14/2010 7:23:57 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: La Lydia

Better idea: Quality over quantity.

Buy well made stuff that lasts a lifetime and doesn’t fall apart or implode 1 day after its warranty date.

But then, they wouldn’t be able to sell us 8 vacum cleaners in one lifetime would they?

My mom still has the first pair of kitchen shears she bought 40 years ago. Same vacum cleaner, same metal cleaning bucket, same ceramic mixing bowls. My dad has the same hammer, saw, screwdriver set he bought 40 years ago. They are only on their second lawn mower ... on and on.

You can’t even buy this stuff anymore. Mostly what is available is cheap crap.


17 posted on 06/14/2010 7:29:50 AM PDT by Lorianne
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To: La Lydia


Our huge new houses eat up energy,...

And amazingly, a lot of those houses are owned by “environmentally-
concerned” university professors.

E.g., here in our university town of Columbia, MO, there’s no push to
have attic fans which would substantially reduce the use of central air.
(I’m all for central air, but don’t understand why they aren’t augmented
with the low-tech attic fan.)

Or require new homes to have zoysia grass instead of tall fescue grass,
as the former requires about 1/2 to 1/3 of the water
during summer...but even the hippies require tall fescue as it remains
green throughout even into most of fall/winter.

I’m no tree-hugger, but the energy waste of liberal nutburgers is
pretty staggering sometimes.


18 posted on 06/14/2010 7:30:30 AM PDT by VOA
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To: La Lydia
In one way, I agree with Waxman. Philosophically speaking, I believe we Americans (in general) consume too much.

I'm not talking about the envirowacko concerns that Waxman has. I just find it sad that hardly anyone saves any more, and that so many people have their worth and happiness wrapped up in "stuff".

19 posted on 06/14/2010 7:31:43 AM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
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To: poindexter

As a Christian, I am trying to find anything in the Bible or the words of Jesus about culture being of any relevance. In fact, I think Jesus discusses “tradition” and not in a good way.

I look at it this way: There are as many subcultures in the world as there are people. We all see and perceive the world differently than anyone else, and take joy in things differently than anyone else.

That is why some people think putting a glob of epoxy between two chairs is “high art” while someone else thinks it’s garbage.


20 posted on 06/14/2010 7:32:32 AM PDT by RobRoy (The US Today: Revelation 18:4)
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To: Lorianne

I still have the same excellent Electrolux vacuum cleaner I got when I first got married.


21 posted on 06/14/2010 7:36:25 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: La Lydia

Of course we have “no culture”: we made the mistake of giving the arts to academe, where doing something new is the standard (a Ph.D. dissertation has to be original research), and as a result our artist stopped producing beautiful things in an incessant quest for novelty. The blame lies with the very sort of people who are complaining in the article, and their “work” is just more of the reason we have “no culture”.

By and large “serious” art stopped being beautiful around the time of Rodin (who was a great sculptor, but whose contorted tortured figures are hardly beautiful). The last gasps of making beauty were the consumer-oriented movements of art nouveau and art deco. “Serious” music died a similar death with Stravinsky—again a great—being the boundary between beauty and ugliness.

One reason we like “buying things” is that the urge to make beauty, suppressed in the novelty-mad world of “serious” art, expresses itself in consumer design—the elegance of an iPod Touch or a Nissan 370Z leaves the tripe that today’s “artists” produce in the dust.


22 posted on 06/14/2010 8:08:15 AM PDT by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: Celerity
The real reason I’ve truncated my responses is that those people are obviously too ignorant to understand a reasonable answer. If they were smart enough, they would know already : the United States has invented, developed, improved, concocted and designed more than any nation in the history of the world. And we continue to do so. I don’t give a rat’s ass about some euro-trashes repugnant little bar stool made from garbage. I hope he chokes on it.

I understand completely. And I got it from your first post. Sometimes FU is the best response.

23 posted on 06/15/2010 4:24:44 AM PDT by subterfuge (BUILD MORE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS NOW!!!)
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