Consumerism



Shopping and the consumerist impulse are lambasted as empty and selfish. But the New Left Project has an entirely different, novel view of consumerism: Shopping is usually a collective act. Most of…




Via Information Aesthetics:

Normally architects organize space to make the experience as efficient as possible. At IKEA though, however, the (almost ‘urban’) designers deliberately set out to confuse people. See this phenomenon analyzed [with] various (heat)maps, 3D reconstructions and other illustrations, in a talk (the IKEA case in starts at the 24:30 mark), by Alan Penn (University College London).

The presentation focuses on how architects use space to sell things, by demonstrating how space creates patterns of movement, bringing people into contact with goods. It starts off with how spatial quality influences spatial behavior, which is then applied on urban environments, retail and shopping spaces in general.


The landscape of our post-recession country is littered with the carcasses of abandoned malls — fallen, ghostly temples of twentieth-century consumerism and suburbia. In an interesting two-year-old piece, Design Observer wonders what…


Chinese capitalism has something uniquely in common with historical Maoism: atheism. Vast economic growth met with a huge demand for traditional culture has meant Chinese cultural institutions are increasingly trading in their…


Advertising has became our dominant creative industry – what Stuart Ewen calls ‘the prevailing vernacular of public address’. It sucks up our talent for art, design, creativity and storytelling. Via Our Kingdom,…



Hungry Beast offers a three-minute primer on how architecture and design elements in shopping malls have been tested and tweaked to create “scripted disorientation” and manipulate and channel our behavior. Most of us have heard of some of the consumption-encouraging tricks used within individual stores, but not necessarily those occurring on a larger level in the surrounding structures and environs. Someday businesses will perfect a method for getting us to shop for just as long as they wish us to:




Fascinatingly, in is now common in China to find counterfeit branches of the Apple store. Then again, what makes any Apple store “real” when the point is to use psychology to sell…



15With the aim of highlighting the “cosmetic overkill” prevalent in modern life, directors Lernert & Sander applied the quantity of makeup typically worn over the course of a year, 365 layers, onto a model in a single day.

(Surely she will be 365 times as beautiful?) The results of the experiment are fairly unsettling.


Synopsis via The Raw Story:

Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.



iWTFA teenager in China has sold one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad 2, Chinese media report. BBC News reports:

The 17-year-old, identified only as Little Zheng, told a local TV station he had arranged the sale of the kidney over the internet.

The story only came to light after the teenager’s mother became suspicious.

The case highlights China’s black market in organ trafficking. A scarcity of organ donors has led to a flourishing trade.

It all started when the high school student saw an online advert offering money to organ donors. Illegal agents organised a trip to the hospital and paid him $3,392 (£2,077) after the operation. With the cash the student bought an iPad 2, as well as a laptop.




Disney's Seal Team 6Alex Weprin writes on FishBowlNY:

In a perfect example of a big media company looking to capitalize on current events, The Walt Disney Company has trademarked “Seal Team 6,” which also happens to be the name of the elite special forces team that killed Osama Bin Laden.

The trademark applications came on May 3rd, two days after the operation that killed Bin Laden… and two days after “Seal Team 6″ was included in thousands of news articles and TV programs focusing on the operation.

Disney’s trademark applications for “Seal Team 6″ cover clothing, footwear, headwear, toys, games and “entertainment and education services,” among other things.