TED TEN- Design to Dematerialise and Develop systems

This is an interesting strategy, and something that we can all engage with easily, probably saving money and enjoyment alongside. It looks at how systems and services can be used to meed needs in replace of tangible products, and how these systems and services might also allow us to benefit from products without actually having to own them.

Exchange and Swap services, auction sites like eBay, Gumtree, FreeCycle are all examples of systems that allow us to pass on our products once we no longer require them, extending their life span as opposed to throwing them away, and possibly earning a little extra money too. The success of these sites in recent years proves that this Ted Ten has a lot of potential to help us live more sustainably.

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 Image reference: 18/12/2013, http://uk.freecycle.org, website

Reducing the need to consume can also be achieved by sharing, leasing and renting goods. One example of this is the website “Bag Borrow or Steal”, with which you can rent designer accessories for a dramatically reduced fee compared to what you would have to pay if buying new. Once you have used/worn the item you return it to the store. There are services that also This allows one product to supply multiple people. I think this is such a good idea. People buy a whole new outfit when they attend a wedding or party for example, but couldn’t possibly be seen wearing again to the next event! (not my personal view but anyway)- so why do you need to own it just so it can sit in your wardrobe gathering dust.

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Image reference: 18/12/2013, http://hire.girlmeetsdress.com/collections/dress-hire/products/red-draped-dress, website

Recognising that many of the cars on the road are only occupied by one or two people, especially during the commute to and from work, CarShare was a system set up around the idea that we don’t all need a car all of the time. There are specific models for businesses, suggesting that they own a fleet of cars to service their employees, that communities can own a fleet of cars to share, rather than every person having to own their own car. This is also something that has been promoted between peers, particularly during the commute to and from work. Drivers can offer the empty seat in their car to passengers heading in the same direction, possibly in exchange for a small fee towards fuel. If car sharing became mainstream, we would not only save an enormous amount of fuel and Co2, but imagine how much less traffic there would be!

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 Image reference: 18/12/2013, http://www.life-size-media.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Car-Share-Scheme.jpg, website

Services that offer to repair and update goods are a brilliant way to dematerialise. Groups such as the “ReMakery” and Nudie jeans are good examples. This approach can also incorporate social activity and skills sharing. “Drink Shop do” runs with this approach, a cafe where you can enjoy a coffee, learn a skill and make/repair goods alongside other like minded people.

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 Image reference: 18/12/2013, http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3rsIdoKff3A/TaKy9qk92jI/AAAAAAAACKU/55BQZxJ3Zs4/s1600/drink-shop-do-front.jpg, website

Spoonflower is a service that allows customers to design their own fabric. (This Service also relates to the previous Ted Ten that explored “emotional durability” as it offers personalisation of goods). Spoonflower only makes the fabrics that are commissioned, meaning that there is no wasteful mass production. It is a service that ensures only what is needed is made, and what is made is specific and exactly what the customer needs.

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Image reference: 18/12/2013, http://www.spoonflower.com/welcome, website

I also love services that share skills and information so that we can all become more independent and able to provide ourselves with what we want, and modify it to what we need. “Open Structures”, “Technology Will Save us” are popular examples of this. The internet has made file sharing so simple, and anyone can access and download templates and instructions for products to build them selves.

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Image reference: 18/12/2013, http://openstructures.net, website

To me all of these ideas are great, and personally am actively involved with similar services. Saving money, earning money, and sourcing products that are potentially much more unique than mass produced goods on the hight street is something I enjoy. The internet has made it all so accessible and simple too. What I have not considered before, but has certainly given me something to think about, is how systems and services could be applied on a larger scale. We exchange clothes and skills and furniture, but what about architecture? What about the possibility of developing systems that can help to make buying property more affordable, more sustainable? Maybe holiday homes shared among a community, or open spaces that can be used to locally grown food and produce .

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