DO YOU KNOW YOUR FURNITURE?
‘Do You Know Your Furniture?’ is a set of cards to help you discover more about furniture and your relationship with them which will guide you to make more environmentally friendly choices.
Around 22 million pieces of furniture are thrown away every year in the UK and this has a negative impact on the environment. The fast furniture industry is one of the largest contributors to this. People are constantly trying to pursue new trends, making them more likely to buy new furniture from fast furniture retailers, and throw away their perfectly functional old furniture. The low and affordable prices of those pieces encourage the public to fuel the unsustainable patterns of consumption with more being bought and therefore more being thrown away. Every day we are surrounded by furniture, yet we pay so little attention to it. What if we took the time to think about our relationship with furniture and realised the values that we attach to it?
The product is aimed at Millennial women who are often redecorating their homes in the pursuit of new trends, as this is making them more likely to throw away still functional furniture. However, it could be used by anyone who wants to start living more sustainably.
‘Do You Know Your Furniture?’ is divided into three parts; reflect, play, and display.
Completing part 1 (reflect) will help the user think about their relationship with furniture and the values that they attach to it. The reflection cards are divided into 6 categories: place, money, people, manufacture, function, and time. Each card has a question relating to this category. The user can draw one card at a time and the more they draw, the more they will begin to reflect. There are 5 extra ‘environment’ cards that the user can pull out to find out why choosing not to throw away furniture and buying better quality or second-hand pieces is important for the environment.
Part 2 (play) is a memory game and playing it will allow the user to find out interesting facts about the furniture pieces that once were very expensive and difficult to possess but are now commonplace.
Part 3 is all about display. The product comes with a stand that says, ‘What is your impact?’ on it. It can be used to display the reflection cards or photos.
I wanted this whole project to focus on the idea of making more sustainable furniture buying choices. My hope is that once we realise the relationships and values that we attach to furniture; whether they be financial or emotional we might be a bit more likely to make more environmentally friendly furniture buying choices. For example, instead of buying furniture from a fast furniture retailer, we will decide to purchase second-hand or antique pieces, as antique furniture has a longer lifecycle, and its carbon footprint is around 16 times less than that of a newly manufactured fast furniture piece.”