It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is about a week prior to ship.
It's finally Autumn! I'm fairly busy in the shop, working time is about a week prior to ship.
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An examination of free roadside junk

I've made this company so that I have a place for my opinions and ideas regarding furniture and in general possessions. I design stuff based on my ideas for what I think quality items should be. I hope that in viewing what I make, people aren't presented with new needs in their lives as much as presented with quality solutions to needs they already were seeking to fill.

That said, there's no denying that in interior design and home furniture all fashions and styles come and go and we're left with a question of what to do with the old.

As I'm walking around the neighborhoods I see a lot of the old set out with free signs. Small items are often lumped together in free boxes and left out for the weather to kiss until forever.
Here's what I've been seeing lately:

- Mostly plastic rolley desk chair
- 80s wood print particle board desk
- 90's rolling BBQ
- budget mountain bike
- taupe 90's washing machine
- box filled with CDs
- colonel style round table with similar style chair
- four tires, maybe still good but probably not
- pallets, always lots of pallets, but not in neighborhoods but industrial areas

I think about this all the time:
- Can this stuff be upcycled?
- What materials or style do these things have that makes them less appealing long term?
- What can I learn as a designer from the items which don't hold their value like these?


a table on the side of the road for free
Image: this outdated but reasonable table can be yours for no money.  Just take it!


Here's another interesting thought. Just about everything is usable. It just doesn't look the way people want it to look.
It speaks to the power of style in society. People will give away for free perfectly functional items because they don't look the way they want them to. Said another way, an out of style object isn't even worth the effort of a craigslist post.

I don't know what to do with that. I don't want to create items that will be contributing to waste in a few short years. Here's my best shot:

1. Make stuff with quality materials so they aren't likely to break or lose value quickly.
2. Make things from mostly biodegradable materials so that when its time comes they at least can go back to nature nicely
3. Try to find uses for discarded materials. I think I could do a better job of developing products which can use discarded free items such as pallets, sheet plastic, construction grade plywood etc.

 


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