We show how to resist mechanisms triggering in us a sense that what we have is not enough.
We’re living in the era of overabundance. For years we have been told that buying new stuff or benefiting from a service offer will make us feel happier. That’s true, shopping can boost serotonin, a happiness hormone, but not for long. Ubiquitous
advertising is a big manipulative force that influences our emotions and makes us feel
that what we already have is not enough. And not only that. We are also compelled to buy too much because of “planned obsolescence”, a strategy of deliberate product designing and manufacturing to ensure its limited lifespan, break down and
uselessness within a known time period.
All this is associated with the concept of continuous GDP growth, one of the basic assumptions of the system in which we operate. It has become established that development must involve the continuous production, consumption and creation of
ever new services. This, however, contributes to environmental degradation and the overexploitation of resources, which are not, after all, unlimited.
The exhibition “Good Enough” shows how to oppose these mechanisms. It will feature tried-
and-tested products whose simplicity of design and top quality of materials make them versatile, durable and thus – timeless. The exhibition will also present some clever initiatives of how to repair things and improve existing architecture. And last but not least, there will be few tips on second-hand shopping and closed circuit selling. Let us make life simpler, the world around us is already complicated enough.
Decathlon 2nd life i BuyBack
Initiatives in which Decathlon buys back used sports equipment and puts it back for sale.
Provident's research show that as many as 61.3% of Poles bought a used item last year. That is why more and more brands are launching initiatives that focus on the circular economy – Decathlon is one of such brands with its 2nd life and BuyBack services.
As part of the first initiative, used sports equipment appeared in 60 Decathlon stores throughout Poland and in the company’s online store. On the other hand, the BuyBack initiative involves repurchasing unnecessary products from customers. Decathlon accepts e.g. used scooters, bicycles and ski equipment. Buying unnecessary products, revitalizing them and looking for a new owner through the 2nd life service, it reduces the amount of waste. This way, 15,000 products have already received a second life, saving as much as 105 tons of CO2. So far, the BuyBack service operates in Warsaw, Poznań, Lublin, Gdańsk, Sosnowiec and Wrocław, but it is to be launched in all Decathlon stores later this year.
One of the world's most successful urban reclamation projects has turned a New York's former overhead train line into a vibrant city park.
A non-profit organization ”Friends of the High Line” dedicated to rescuing a historic overhead railway line abandoned since the 1980s, advocated for repurposing the structure to meet new needs. In an urban planning competition launched by the organization, architects were asked to present proposals for reconstruction of the High Line. The competition was won by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. They opted to preserve the original structure to show that revitalizations do not always have to be a revolutionary process – sometimes minimum effort to change a space is enough. The design also took into account the plants that have overgrown the overhead railway over the years – shrubs, grasses or field flowers still happily grow in the High Line garden. The park, which stretches for 2.3 km, features simple furniture made of concrete, cedar and teak that perfectly blend in with the vegetation.
The park opened in 2009 and received more than 3 million visitors in 18 months, 10 times more than expected. It continues to be one of the city's most popular places, attracting not only tourists, but also New Yorkers.
Bialetti coffee maker
A simple and durable alternative to coffee machines.
An Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti wanted Italians to be able to easily make at home coffee that would be as good as that served in cafés, and so in 1933 he launched the Bialetti Moka Express. The machine quickly won the hearts of coffee lovers, becoming the most famous coffee maker in the world. A survey of 2010 showed that the Bialetti coffee maker was used by up to 90% of Italian households.
And no wonder, as the Bialetti Moka Express offers a number of advantages over high-tech coffee machines. It is affordable, easy to use and will fit into even the smallest kitchen. And, on top of that, as it consists of only three simple and sturdy components made of aluminium, no expensive servicing is required. All what is needed is replacing a seal at a cost of about PLN 10.00 every two years.
My Fair Book
A French start-up is buying up books that were going to be turned into pulp and putting them back on sale.
Book publishing industry is facing a huge competition on the market. The Central Statistical Office reports that in 2021, almost 34,000 new titles were published in Poland – 3.5 times more than at the beginning of the 1990s. These statistics are comparable across Europe. Equally noteworthy is the fact that new releases are being promoted for shorter periods, and a book has little time to make its mark in the minds of readers. If it fails, it has to be taken out of the shelf to make room for others. In France, as many as 140 million copies a year are discarded – often because of poor sales.
To save books from such a fate, the French start-up “My Fair Book” buys them from publishers. The start-up's circular-economy approach means that interesting books do not end up in the landfill but in the start-up's online bookshop. The start-up team also makes sure that each book is properly presented to make its way to the readers.
A Danish brand that produces door handles offers a service of renewing its items for 60% of the price of a new product.
In May this year, the d line brand introduced a service that is to make its products be used for up to 100 years. Customers who have door handles, bathroom fittings and other accessories of this brand can contact the company to renovate and repair them. The cost of the service, which includes as many as 250 items from the d line catalogue, is 60% of the price of a new product. In addition, refurbished items are covered by a 20-year warranty. Re-handle repairs emit up to 90% less carbon than buying new equipment.
The brand is committed to creating timeless and durable products that do not need to be replaced every few years. It operates very transparently as well – data on the greenhouse effect potential (GWP), i.e. the impact of a given item on the greenhouse effect, is available for as much as 40% of the d line offer.
A place where you can fix broken household appliances.
The ability to repair household appliances is not common today. That is why so many things end up in the landfill even though they could be repaired and still utilized. The Dutch initiative Repair Café is here to help. These are free workshops aimed at reducing overconsumption and waste as well as an attempt to fight against planned aging.
Participants bring their broken products – for example clothes, toys, bicycles or household appliances – and the volunteers show how they can fix the products. The knowledge is immediately put in practice, s the tools and materials needed for repairs are on site. The effect is not only repaired equipment and less waste, but also integration of the local community. There are already over 2,700 Repair Cafés in the world. Cyclical events under this banner are also held in Poland.
A restaurant that turns waste into fine dining.
Food waste is a huge ethical, economic and environmental problem. According to data of Eurostat, restaurants and catering establishments are responsible for 9% of food waste. Spoiled ingredients, unsold dishes and uneaten portions end up in the bin. However, it is different at the Rest. restaurant located in Oslo, the motto of which is rejecting modern consumerism.
Rest. uses surplus of food to cook, for example, "imperfect" vegetables. It is from them that delicious fine dining dishes are made, which are served on tableware made of recycled materials – not only glass and clay, but also oyster shells or chicken legs. The aprons and uniforms of the staff were made from the remnants of fabrics and clothes. The restaurant was awarded a green Michelin star, which has been awarded to the most sustainable restaurants in the world since 2020.
A design of window shades made from discontinued materials that criticizes modern waste.
It is not without reason that Amy Lewis refers to the Samurai culture in her design. In times of shortage, their armor was crafted of metals that were at hand – from agricultural tools or kitchen utensils. Meanwhile, today, living in an age of abundance, many valuable and usable materials are wasted. Pre-consumer waste is a nightmare especially in the textile industry. That's why Lewis made her shades entirely from materials, ribbons and strings that would otherwise have been thrown away.
According to the designer, who has not forgotten about the aesthetic aspect, window shades can be considered a frame that surrounds the landscape seen through the window. Here, the designer also referred to the Samurai, who believed that beauty is achieved through a thoughtful and careful combination of individual elements.
ST. MIQUEL 19
Renovation of vacant property
A way to renovate a vacant property on a low budget.
There is a shortage of affordable housing on the property market. A partial solution to this problem could be redevelopment of vacant houses whose number in municipalities across Poland is believed to be around 50,000. As most of these empty buildings are in bad condition, they cannot be reoccupied without renovation, and there is no money for this. A project by an architect from Mallorca can provide some inspiration. Carles Oliver showed how a vacant property can be repurposed, using an example of a dilapidated 105-square-metre tenement loft, which he refurbished for €18,000. Two-thirds of this amount went towards improving the energy efficiency of the flat, including insulating the roof and installing a biomass boiler. Only a third of the budget was spent on renovating the rooms, as the architect opted for an aesthetics that focuses on finding beauty in imperfections and accepting the natural cycle of ageing. To describe his concept of renovation, Carles Oliver said 'don't do, because that's the best way to do'.
Used, 11-year-old Woolpower sweater wins Scandinavian innovation award.
Industry awards usually acknowledge the most innovative products launched to the market in the previous year. This was not the case at this year's Scandinavian Outdoor Awards, where the winner was a used 11-year-old sweater from Woolpower, what’s more – with visible pilling! The judges appreciated that, despite the passage of time, the merino wool sweater has retained its function and excellent performance – it is still comfortable, warm and durable.
The Woolpower brand sent their sweater for the award to prove that good quality products do not need to be replaced every season. In the context of fast fashion brands oriented for constant growth, this approach may seem unusual. While H&M releases up to 16 new collections a year, Zara – 24, and Shein launches up to 1,000 new items daily, Woolpower's garment offer has not changed for 50 years.
The art of zero waste
Lidl Poland between 2021 – 2022 has launched a campaign to encourage people not to waste food.
Every year, 377,000 tonnes of tomatoes end up in the rubbish bin. This is like wasting 90 square kilometres of farmland, 57 billion litres of water and 7 million working hours. That is why the network, together with its partners: Caritas Poland and the Federation of Polish Food Banks, is encouraging smart shopping. Part of the project is a free e-book with practical advice, including how to stock food and cook from leftovers.
For several years, Lidl has also been giving imperfect vegetables a chance. Three-kilogram sets, which included carrots, celery and beetroot, were sold at an attractive price. This year, moreover, 'defective products', i.e. apples that are too big and tomatoes with skin defects, were added to the range. "They look different, but they taste the same". – the chain assured for a reason. Indeed, a 2021 report by the Federation of Food Banks shows that as many as 51 per cent of Polish consumers do not want to buy non-ideal-looking fruit and vegetables. Thus, Lidl's campaigns not only counteract food waste but also have an educational aspect.
Here and Now Workshops
The workshops conducted by La Loba Design Lab ceramic and design studio emphasize the therapeutic aspect of working with clay instead of the final effect.
Ceramic workshops are becoming more and popular form of spending leisure time. Their organizers often encourage participation, emphasizing that the effect will be making such objects as: a cup, a vase or a flower pot. La Loba Design Lab, a ceramic and design studio from Wrocław, focuses on a completely different aspect. The Here and Now Workshops organized by the Lab, the very fact of working with clay is the most important.
The point is that these workshops allow you to get away from everyday life and spend a pleasant time. However, the result is not really important as the created works will not be fired, but will be recycled. The workshops are intended for persons aged over 15 – both those who want to start their adventure with ceramics, as well as those who are a bit more advanced.
A large-panel block
A large-panel block which was constructed 15 times faster than its Polish counterparts.
Large-panel blocks, which were erected in Poland in the times of socialism, do not evoke the best associations nowadays. However, it turns out that this technology does not have a bad reputation in all parts of the world. The example is the "Wohnregal", a six-storey apartment block, which was erected in Berlin. It was constructed by the team of the FAR studio, which used only prefabricated elements in the project. All this to reduce investment costs, and thus housing prices. The block was erected in just 6 weeks (to compare, according to the data of the Central Statistical Office in Poland, it takes an average of 23 months, i.e. over 90 weeks). The main building material was concrete panels, and the entire structure was reinforced with pillars and beams made of the same material. Applying this solution allowed for elimination of traditional load-bearing walls and creation of open spaces in the interiors, which could be adapted by the tenants to their needs with the help of lightweight cardboard-gypsum boards.
A container for creating and storing natural cosmetic masks made of food scraps.
YUM – Your Unexpected Mask is a project by a pair of third-year Domestic Design students at the School of Form: Alicja Kozłowska and Katarzyna Sadowska. It is an original way to combat food waste in households. In this container, unused food products such as leftover fruit and vegetables, the last drops of olive oil or a spoonful of yoghurt can easily be turned into natural cosmetic masks.
The YUM consists of a container, a removable grater on which you can easily grate all the ingredients and a lid that hides a double-sided spatula with a tip for applying the finished product and a brush for cleaning the grater. The kit comes with an instruction with sample recipes for homemade masks. This small container has been designed to fit easily, for example, on a fridge door, but also to aesthetically fit in both, the kitchen and bathroom.