How do we define utility? In this age of counter-consumerism, we might find ourselves asking the question of whether we really need something before we purchase it. What’s great about this movement is that we often find inspiring and well-thought out products to improve our daily living. An accordion notebook to ensure you don’t run out of writing space, waterproof bags for the South-East Asian monsoon season, or swim trunks engineered for fun in the sun.
But speaking about inspiring, does utility necessarily mean function over form? For the creative professional, does it not include objects that inspire output, a feeling, or emotion? While it’s good practice to shop wisely, we’d like to venture that while some things don’t necessarily re-invent the wheel, they sure add that bit to making our lives better.
In The Utilitarian Issue, we kickoff with coverage from the Goodcraft show, and an exclusive interview with James of Neighbourgoods on crafting an apron of form and function. On the other side of the continent (Tokyo to be exact), we chat with Mike from Postalco about designing for daily life, and check out his very own invention - the wheel printer. And just when we thought inventions were rare in this day and age, we get behind the machine with homegrown 3D printer manufacturers romscraj, and learn how they designed a 3D printer for the local economy. Edmund and Kai, from The Bureau, shed light on the Singapore design scene. And lastly to round up the issue we’ve put together a pop-up shop of perfect holiday gifts, titled 22 things you don’t need, but must have.