I’m really happy to see Spacecases in the window of Acorn Toy Shop on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. Acorn is using them for display and merchandising and is also taking orders for Spacecases from interested customers. So far so good. The orders are coming in and I’m happy this versatile, modular, stacking wood crate system I designed 12 years ago is still chugging along. There are more pictures here. (New photos are coming soon!)
I wrote my master’s thesis on the historical relationship between product design and social class and I really wish I’d found this advertisement in time to have included it. I’ve never seen an historical document spell out in more brutal terms the extent to which product innovation has changed the means and behaviors of menial labor to render the working class more “presentable” and the leisure class more able bodied. Whether they were on their way up or on their way down, families at the beginning of the 20th century who found themselves members of a new middle class were suddenly forced to maintain house and composure simultaneously; and mass produced consumer products filled the gap left by unaffordable servants, creating a huge market saturated by what have come to be known as labor saving devices. I was searching for something else when I found this ad in an early 20th Cent Brooklyn Blue Book here.
The Internet Archive has a digitized “City of Brooklyn; A Half Century’s Progress” from 1887 which brings “together in such convenient and permanent form such data relating to the merchantile, manufacturing, and other business interests of the beautiful city of Brooklyn, and the men whose brains, capital, and energy have been and are the inspiration of them, as are worth being preserved.” Needless to say it’s a real page turner.
A guy walking on the Williamsburg waterfront took this picture which CNN put up on its site. Really striking. That’s the Williamsburg Bridge with Brooklyn under power on the left and lower Manhattan blacked out on the right. That’s the deal right now. Four days now and another three to go. At least. He has another good one here.