Report Scarcity

for PantoneView

May 10, 2015 by Irene Vermeulen

Craftscurator shows 5 scarcity-related design strategies: Repair, Reuse, Self-Production, Preserve and Make & Build, with both contemporary and historical examples.

'Scarcity is the mother of invention. Limited options, scant resources and small markets present consumers and designers with stark choices', says Jan Boelen, curator of several exhibitions on design in austere times. 'In developing strategies for dealing with scarcity, today's architects, designers and users position themselves within a rich tradition of innovation driven by necessity. We can choose to view scarcity not as a limitation but as an opportunity, and we can look for alternatives out of a belief in abundance and sufficiency rather than scarcity.'

Repair
People often fall back on repairing and mending in times of scarcity. Now, makers and consumers also find joy in fixing stuff.

Reuse (what you have)
In times of scarcity, it makes more sense to reuse existing things than to invent from scratch. This notion makes designers and consumers inventive. The Hindi-Urdu word 'jugaad' stands for work-around innovation, clever ways to find solutions.

Self-Production
Making stuff yourself is a way of taking control of a process for designers and consumers. In the 1930s and 1970s many architects and designers have explored 'auto-production'. Now, with digital manufacturing at hand, this movement is making a comeback, which will have great influence on traditional ways of producing and distributing.

Preserve
Rarity and scarcity are important motivators for protecting existing goods. Pickling, smoking and conserving ensure food remains edible months after they are harvested or caught.

Make & Build
Architects and designers have imagined new ways of living, working and creating for decades now. For their utopian visions, access to tools is an important theme.

Craftscurator is part of the PantoneView team of trend experts, and is publishing a series of reports on sustainability, containing inspiring visuals with examples of sustainability in product design, in-depth analysis and colour cards.

Report Scarcity for PantoneView
Exploring sustainable design and new materials
Repair
Plates by Tamara Maynes, patched colander of Vladimir Arkhipov
Woolfiller
by Heleen Klopper
Lego repair
Project by Jan Vormann
Re-Use - Jugaad
Bicycle is brick transporter
Re-Use - Jugaad
Walking stick with bicycle bell
Self- Production
MAK Vienna exploring Nomadic Living
Self- Production
3D printed keystones by Minale Maeda
Make & Build
imaginations of utopian cities
Make & Build
Utopian buildings from the 1960ies