Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘design’

02 NOVEMBER, 2010

The Holstee Manifesto: Making The Life You Want To Live


This morning, we celebrated a brilliant upcycling effort, but when it comes to upcycling and smart social responsibility, no one can out-smart, out-cool and out-inspire our friends at Holstee, who blend an ethos of sustainability with an honest and inspired approach to all of life.

We’re particularly enamored with The Holstee Manifesto – a poetic homage to the art of living your passion.

UPDATE: The Holstee Manifesto is now available in a wonderful 5×7 greeting card printed on handmade paper derived from 50% elephant poo and 50% recycled paper and a gorgeous letterpress print.

Show Holstee some love on Facebook, take a look at their original collection, and keep an eye on their fantastic ongoing Curated section.

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02 NOVEMBER, 2010

SAVED: Upcycling Through Design and Storytelling


What old tees have to do with indie music A-listers and shrinking carbon footprints.

We love upcycled tees and we love smart, creative efforts to make sustainability an actionable thing rather than a fluff-phrase. Last season, our friends at Do The Green Thing made waves with their Buy Nothing campaign and this fall, they’ve one-upped themselves with another brilliant effort.

Every year, more than a million tons of clothing are thrown away, even though most of it has over 70% of its useful life left, so Green Thing asked the world to donate their unwanted t-shirts and SAVED was born — a new initiative that saves old, unwanted, unloved t-shirts from the grip of time by giving them a design and story that make them loved again.

Each SAVED upcycled shirt features a lovely hand-stitched typographic patchwork-label and a heart-warming “Saved from neglect” tag.

For an added layer of coolness, SAVED has some of our favorite musicians on board, including Imogen Heap, Marina and the Diamonds, Chipmunk and Lissie, who have donated some of their own unloved tees. And this isn’t a mere de-facto celebrity endorsement — it means you could actually end up with an upcycled t-shirt that once belonged to one of today’s most talented indie artists.

You can buy a SAVED tee directly through Facebook and revel in the glory of knowing that 100% of your contribution goes to Green Thing Trust, the nonprofit dedicated to helping more people live more sustainable lives.

Green Thing is instituting a Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory-like Golden Ticket system, so whether you end up with a star’s upcycled shirt is between you and your lucky star. And even though we were never ones to fall for the whole “everyone’s a winner” shenanigans, in this particular instance, everyone truly is.

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01 NOVEMBER, 2010

Dieter Rams’ Principles of Good Design


We love iconic German industrial designer Dieter Rams. In this two-minute film, Vitsoe managing director Mark Adams discusses Dieter Rams’ principles of good design, illustrating each with real-life examples of products Rams designed.

The beauty of a really well-conceived system is that the parts are mutually interchangeable but they are discrete from one another and therefore improvements can constantly be made.”

Rams’ philosophy is so insight-rich and rooted in human behavior that its core principles extend far beyond the design silo and apply to everything from entrepreneurship to leadership to personal growth. For full immersion in his landmark thinking, we highly recommend Less and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams.

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