More Ideas, Less Stuff — London-based graphic designer Ben Terrett of the Really Interesting Group and Noisy Decent Graphics is in The Guardian today talking about Things Our Friends Have Written On The Internet 2008, a limited-edition newspaper that collected together interesting stuff from the internet, and the idea of ‘unproduct’, or creating more value but producing less stuff:
Originally coined by the designer Matt Jones and built upon by the strategist Russell Davies, among others, unproduct is basically maximum idea, minimum stuff… More than anything, unproduct is a new way of thinking about things. A new model. So is making something and giving it away. So are joint ventures. We’ve got people building stuff quickly, trying out new ideas, often for free. We have clients and agencies taking risks and more importantly sharing those risks. We’re creating maximum ideas and minimum stuff.
When people start talking to me about e-books, I have to confess there’s a small part of my brain that begins to shut down because I just don’t find them intrinsically interesting (inevitable and utilitarian yes, fun and interesting, no). But I love the idea of applying unproduct-type principles to publishing.
Sadly I don’t own a copy of Things Are Friends Have Written on the Internet 2008, but I gather that on the last page Russell Davies and Ben Terrett say: “2009 feels like a year for printing and making real stuff in the real world. Its going to be exciting”.
I hope so. I think this is fantastic.