Monday, July 20, 2009


The most recent interview with Ezio Manzini ends with the following statement: The need is great. Now is the time. "We need radical change; increasing consciousness is not enough."

Ezio Manzini and François Jégou are the creators of The Sustainable Everyday Project.
One element of their project is Scenarios. An example follows:
How can we take care of our houses and things?

The Handyman Shop is a local multi-service centre that combines aspects of a neighbourhood convenience store and a do-it-yourself shop such as “wardrobe service”, “object clinic”, “mutual help”. On the web site you can "Clic" on each solutions to download a short movie presentation and post your comments…

Another component of the Sustainable Everyday web site is a record of cases that are exemplary of some aspect of behavior that we might consider prototypical.

Mr. Manzini was asked in an interview if he really meant it when he suggested we might actually share housing. He emphatically answered we could. He documented the following example in his home town, Milan:
Prendi a casa uno studente – Lodge a student at homeIntergenerational house sharing helps students find cheap, family-style accommodation, while giving lonely, but independent, elders help, companionship and financial support.

I offer another example where house sharing works to every ones advantage. Seniors share housing in NYC, facilitated by a city service.

At any given minute millions of students in residence around the world are also sharing housing. I believe they accept the rather spartan housing because of the wealth of services they have access to. Theirs is one of the richest environments imaginable.

As individuals they could never assemble the resources they share collectively.

Sharing, the new commons, as a practice, is gaining momentum. I think those who are documenting and writing about it feel they must go to great lengths to avoid the stigma attached by association with the failures of communism. If the current rhetoric surrounding Obama's policy initiatives is any indication they are politically correct. The writers for the Sustainable Everyday Project use the phrase "colab services" when referring to opportunities for sharing, while Treehugger identifies what they call "product service systems".

However you name it, the process remains the same. We are all made richer by refining the definitions of "mine" and "ours".

No comments:

Post a Comment