Conveyor Belt or Custom Made?

March 10, 2020 - Melbourne, Australia

How many things you own aren't produced on a mass scale?

I was in the car this morning thinking about cars and how car choice affects personal identity.

That car has been produced on an enormous scale, with as much individuality as a can of soft drink. How is it possible that this cookie-cutter possession can be used to construct a representation of our own unreproducible, unique, self?

I love my 1991 Toyota Camry.

A fine furniture maker's number one vehicle.

Look around your home, can you find one item that has not been produced en masse? Even personal items that carry meaning every day. Your favourite trackies, your trusty mug, your snuggly bed........

Items like this hold meaning in everybody's life. We spend a lot of time at home, and we want our lives enriched, so how could this home-life hold even more meaning?

Now, for experiment's sake, take a look around and imagine what could be taken off that assembly line.

This is the treasured item that won't end up in hard rubbish no matter which turn fashion may take. These do not have to be expensive things. My dad still uses the pencil holder I made as a 4 year old (at least I hope, Dad?).

To replace everything that can be replaced is wasteful in itself, but this way of thinking could influence our next necessary purchase or determine whether we choose to make something ourselves.

Our immensely personal and unique homes won't be transformed overnight. The process, if done right will take a very long time. But it will be a long time well spent, gradually accumulating meaning instead of stuff.

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