A Story about Losing, Leaving and Buying It All Back

In August last year, designer Brian Jones packed a rental van for a move to Chicago and went to bed, planning to clip his bikes on and leave in the morning. When he woke up, everything he owned in the world other than what is in this picture was gone.

No story there; lots of people lose everything in floods and hurricanes. Lots of people run off to Wal-Mart to restock; Brian made it into an opportunity. He wrote:

"Design is used to sell. Period. Whether its the newest Nikes, or someone else's ideals. My job is to communicate their message. And since the dawn of advertising, the overwhelming majority of messages sent to the world, is to want what you don't have. Someone else wanted what they didn't have, which happened to be what I had, and no longer have."

He decided to document everything he bought; to separate needs from wants. "This is about living in a consumer culture and being aware of the things I buy. Since there is so much that I will need to rebuy, I thought it would be interesting to keep track of everything I buy. When I start buying back the things that we seem to acquire—usually unnoticed—over time, I want to think about how it will be used, where it's made, how it's made, how long it will last me and what will happen to it when I no longer need/want it."

Everything. From socks to books to shoes. I now know more about what he owns than I do about what I own. ::Buy By Brian

Read also an interview of him on Rob Walker's blog.

Tags: Designers | Less Is More | Living With Less