Two other designers work with Xiaojing at Y-Town. The name of their company comes from waitan (the Bund) in Mandarin. (The Bund is the strand of stately buildings that line the Huangpu River in Shanghai.) What a perfect metaphor for this product design team, which mixes the east and west in its eclectic design mentality--much like the Bund with its collection of Chinese and Western architecture.
What was destined for the dump is now funky jewelry. This exercise of reusing materials forces the team to look at everything with a completely open and playful attitude. As a writer, this recycling mentality appeals to me--perhaps because I like the idea of recycling ideas that I've labored over...and can't use because of plotting or pacing or whatever. A number of my writer-buddies and I create "dumping ground" files for passages and chapters we love but have had to cut from our novels.
Anyway, if Y-Town is able to turn outdated posters for art exhibits into must-have purses, then I can't wait to see what they can do with these raw materials:
(Note: I showed this picture to my kids and told them all about Xiaojing. They peered at this picture and came up with a dozen product ideas. What if we all did this with the things that we unthinkingly toss into the garbage?)
Y-Town's playful utilitarianism is at its best in their design for Absolut Vodka: a tote container that doubles as a lantern (care of a battery insert)!
Here's the demolition room with their collected fodder that spurs ideas. I will bet anything that one day soon, we'll see the products that come out of this room in our own homes.
To ideas and people with good hearts who just want to make our world a more beautiful place.