Inderscience Publishers

Extant objects: designing things as they are

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This paper describes a design exploration that addresses the re-use of low-value, discarded mass-produced objects. The exploration is an attempt to deal with a variety of sustainable concerns associated with contemporary mass-produced material culture. Two rather distinct, but interrelated approaches to sustainable design are recognised and discussed. One contributes to improving product design within the current product production system, the other is a more fundamental approach that begins to redefine the role of the product designer, and offers opportunities that are not available to, or much more difficult to address within, conventional industrial design practice for mass-production.

Keywords: sustainability, product design, material culture, novelty, consumerism, moderation, extant objects, product reuse, low-value objects, discarded objects, mass-produced objects, sustainable design

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