Junk is everywhere. Finnish interior designer and professor of furniture design in Aalto University in Helsinki Simo Heikkila wrote in today’s newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that an average urban person during his/her life will be confronted with 20 000 – 30 000 different objects. Heikkila also estimated that normal daily routines in a household require only 50 objects including ten different pieces of furniture and smaller objects needed mainly for preparing and consuming food.
This means that there’s lots of useless junk everywhere. Heikkila argues that people in western world surround themselves with objects in order to boost their status. He says that it’s tragicomic that identity is built with junk.
Heikkila writes about his days in art school when the teachers taught the students that production of an object is acceptable only if the product replaces a worse object, preferably more than one. Today the situation is completely different – as soon as someone manages to design an useful object which is also easy to use, there will be several cheap copies.
Heikkila likes wood as a material, and dislikes plastic. He says that plastic destroys our relation to the nature. And the result can be seen in massive floating plastic waste rafts in Pacific Ocean and in Atlantic.
Heikkila believes that the new, slower world is coming. And that is a great challlenge and an opportunity for designers.
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