Friday, November 9, 2012

The Future Will be Artisanal Everything (HAIN; AHFP)

No, I don't mean Hain Celestial (although at $60 it seems cheaper than a lot of slower growers) or even about Artisanal Brands.* No, we're talking popcorn.
Popcorn so self-consciously artisanal that it is popped one kernal at a time.
From Fast Company:
It’s sometimes tough to tell where reality ends and satire begins in today’s artisanal-obsessed economy. A new exhibit called The Low-Tech Factory, by Industrial Design students at University of Art and Design Lausanne, is a little bit of both.

 Installed in a temporarily converted Swiss carpet factory as part of the 25-year-old Designer’s Saturday exhibition, The Low-Tech Factory is exactly what it sounds like: a series of six tiny “factories” that churn out consumer goods at a snail’s pace. Each manufacturing line can be operated by a team of 1-4 participants, and are entirely human-powered (with the exception of a heated mold in one installation). The idea is to examine the underlying value systems we apply to objects we own, both mass-produced and hand-made.

Oncle Sam, for example, is a mechanism that pops single kernels of popcorn one at a time using an elaborate steel lattice of moving parts and a single tea light. Animal Growth is a set of tools that makes simple foam animal toys, while Marbelous makes a marbled mirror. Swing is particularly awesome: the user inserts a piece of fabric between a sharp mold and an off-kilter top, then balances above it as their weight cuts through the fabric in a pattern that turns it into an expandable mesh bag....MORE
Long time readers know we are fans of No Tech Magazine which features everything from the ridiculous (wooden bicycle wheels):
 "They are hard to build with, they require regular maintenance, they are expensive and they flex a lot. However, if you want a traditional looking wheel, avoiding metal altogether is a marvelous move, something that we’re lucky to still be able to do today."
to the sublime:
Make Your Own Treadle Lathe
The must have machine for making all the other machines you'll need to create your own industrial civilization.
I'm serious.
Which is why we devoted an entire post to "Building Your Own Civilization: How to Make a Metalworking Lathe out of Concrete"

If you aren't ready to make the leap to No Tech, their sister publication "Low Tech Magazine" may be just the ticket:

Aerial ropeways: automatic cargo transport for a bargain
Adam wybe 1

How to make everything yourself - online low-tech resources

*Although  as one critic has said: “When you’re buying artisanal foods from a publicly traded company, something is wrong.”