Monday, November 24, 2008

Losing, Leaving and Buying It All Back

Wow! Check this out!

"A Story about Losing, Leaving and Buying It All Back
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto

In August last year, designer Brian Jones packed a rental van for a move to Chicago and went to bed, planning to clip his bikes on and leave in the morning. When he woke up, everything he owned in the world other than what is in this picture was gone.

No story there; lots of people lose everything in floods and hurricanes. Lots of people run off to Wal-Mart to restock; Brian made it into an opportunity. He wrote:

"Design is used to sell. Period. Whether its the newest Nikes, or someone else's ideals. My job is to communicate their message. And since the dawn of advertising, the overwhelming majority of messages sent to the world, is to want what you don't have. Someone else wanted what they didn't have, which happened to be what I had, and no longer have."

He decided to document everything he bought; to separate needs from wants. "This is about living in a consumer culture and being aware of the things I buy. Since there is so much that I will need to re buy, I thought it would be interesting to keep track of everything I buy. When I start buying back the things that we seem to acquire—usually unnoticed—over time, I want to think about how it will be used, where it's made, how it's made, how long it will last me and what will happen to it when I no longer need/want it."

Everything. From socks to books to shoes. I now know more about what he owns than I do about what I own."


Head on over to Buy By Brian to read his blog (and see everything he's bought!) I think this is (while initially sad) rather inspiring! I own SO much stuff, and I always want to cull it down, but every time I even attempt to do this, it ends in failure. (Oh, but I might need that! I know I haven't used/worn/"I still own that?" for years, but you never know, one day...) And there are so many things that really mean a lot to me, and I'd never want to lose. But at the same time, to just have to start over with your possessions, and use more common sense when making those purchases - there's something grand about that. Like a fresh start. Your possessions not owning you any longer. And I think a version of this (minus getting some guys to steal all of your stuff) could be a great thing! Especially with New Years, and all those resolutions just around the corner!

Clear away the clutter! (Nathan, I'm talking to you! Don't you put your hands over your ears, young man! You listen to me now, and you listen good! Don't you dare stick your tongue out at me! I'll come over there! And you don't want that, now do you? Are you humming!? Now look here! Hey, hey, those gestures are NOT allowed in this household! You come back here right now, right now mister! I'm not joking! That's it! I'm throwing all your stuff out, and then you'll be sorry, oh yes you will!...or will you?)

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