Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things
My daughter Hannah, age 12, is celebrating her bat mitzvah in a few weeks. One of her assignments is to develop a project for charity. Since the theme of her event could be summed up as “Jewish / atheist / artist / vegetarian,” we want to do something that will exercise her art skills, brandish her values, and help fill the shelves of a local food bank.
Solution: canvas totes. They’re easy to adorn, and they’re less intimate than t-shirts. Plus, the shape and function of the tote will amply hold Hannah’s food bank and recycling themes, with some room for a little attitude left over.
Still, do our friends need more totes …? Do reusable bags really cut down on trash, or do they simply form soft land fills in downstairs closets and the maws of mini-vans?
Dmitri Siegel addresses these issues at Design Observer. Although he applauds the power of a thoughtful graphic to inspire change, he doubts that a “consumable can counteract the effects of consumption.”
The bottom line: the path to hell is paved in part by graphic design. Maybe we should put that on a bunch of bags and then sell them for charity.
Tote designed by Hannah Reinhard, age, 12.— Julia Lupton · 2009-07-21