Discover more from Creative Destruction
A visual exploration of our consumerist culture
Welcome to the 3rd issue of Creative Destruction! 😉
In case you missed the first two issues: We tackled Corporations vs. Self-Actualization in our first deep dive issue and had a look at the link between Air Pollution & Climate Action in the second one.
Today, I have a very visual issue for you as we’ll have a look at the obscene world of consumerism.
Better, cheaper, faster, more stylish, more entertaining, more convenient, more exclusive…MORE! We all know how crazy, even obscene, consumerism is; how dependent we are on this constant “more”; how consumption dominates our culture and social status; and how enormous its negative effects are.
…or do we? 🤨
I’ve recently come across some visuals that really help put things into perspective. I say “help” because I believe that it’s impossible to fathom the actual magnitude of this consumption machine that we’ve built - the gazillions of products and media produced and consumed every day. 🤯 But, let’s try it anyway and see what it does with us.
Here we go:
Flooding vs. Luxury Shopping in Venice
Shopping As Therapy - Thanks eBay
Subway Time = Screen Time
Re-Wearing Clothes 🤦♂️
Planned Obscolescence, i.e. designing products in a way that makes them unuseful, inconvenient or unattractive after a fixed duration, so you can buy more
Funny enough, Alfred Sloan, who we already met in the From Corporation to Self-Actualization issue, was the guy who really made planned obscolescene a thing:
“By the mid-1920s, just about every American who needed a car had one. […] But now automakers had a new problem. How the hell were they going to sell more cars? How were they going to make any money?”
“Henry Ford […] didn’t see any point in altering the Model T. It worked well, it came in one color (black) and they lasted as long as their owners maintained them.
“His competitors at General Motors, however, didn’t have the same scruples. The head of GM, Alfred Sloan Jr., suggested a campaign that his critics would later label “planned obsolescence,” he would introduce new models each year, in new colors, styles, and with more powerful engines. In so doing, he would create demand for new cars, even before his customers had worn out their first one.”
Beyonce x Adidas
The Avenue of Mid-America
The True Cost Of Stuff
And let’s end it on this sentence:
Which visual stood out for you? Anything that made you go: “wait….wtf?” Let me know in the comments! And otherwise, I’ll see you next week!
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