LS] Sustainable Systems “Repair Part 1 and Tea Drunk”

Please post the following to your LP for next week. Label this week’s post: “Repair Part 1”

1) Reflect on our trip to Tea Drunk. 

– What was the most inspiring part of the visit?

I pretty like the t-drunk’s decoration and their tea collection. They have some of the varieties of tea I even was the first time to see. But the most inspiring part is listened their owner talk about the effect of weather on tea harvest. Tea is very sensitive to the weather, their harvest season even only a few days. But now because of global climate change, the weather of origin has become very unusual, which may affect the harvest of tea, while affecting their quality.

– Despite being a new business, which of the Long Life Design criteria do you think Shunan might be able to fulfill over the next 50 years, and why? 

I believe she will fulfil over the next 50 years. Even though this is a new business in America, we have to admit that this business has been in China for thousands of years, its form may have been changing, but its essence tea culture has not changed. I believe that more and more people are willing to try this culture and fascinate with it.

– Name several of the specific systems involved in Shunan’s work at Tea Drunk? (think about what kind of geography, tea, history, people in China and New York are essential to her work etc.). 

Her job in New York is about the sale and promotion of tea culture I think. Those who are fascinated by tea culture or who have the curiosity about tea are important to her. But before those tea come to New York, it is picking, production, as well as transport links, are very important. Different varieties of tea have a specific origin, a specific picking season and even a specific production (frying) method. These links directly determine the quality of tea.

– Do you think of Shunan as an artist or a business person? 

I do not think both are. I don’t think she is a business person, and I think she is a person who plays her hobby to the extreme. The artist needs to think and create something, in Shunan’s job, she thought much more than the creation. And she is continually learning and spreading culture, so I prefer to call her a scholar.

– Do you feel her work is aesthetic?  

Yes, I do. The process of making tea is ornamental. The same tea, the same production process, but the taste will not the same if it making by different people, this is the most mysterious and the most fascinating of tea aesthetics.

– Do you feel her work is “sustainable”? Does it also address environmental issues in other ways, perhaps in ways that ancient farming cultures did naturally? What do you think of this?

I don’t know her work is sustainable or not because I did not specifically see her workflow and store operations. But I think the tea industry, some part of itself are sustainable. Because the cultivation of tea for the natural growth environment has a high demand, the tea production environment is protected. The traditional mode of production will not cause pollution to the environment also. The ancient production method is certainly more natural. Now people like to try to automate production because it is more efficient. This process may consume some energy. But the biggest difference may be in the transport links, modern transport will consume more energy, and the environment will also be affected.

2) Find an object, device or material that needs to be repaired in some way. Follow the Repair project brief (steps 1-3 for this week) and post responses to each question and images on your LP.

Ask a question

  1. What object will you repair and why?

I want to repair my Parsons duffle bag, I bought it last year, but now it looks terrible. The stitching of hand strap has come undone, and its printing also damaged very severely. I had intended to throw it away and buy a new one, but now I think I can repair it.

Do you consider repair to be an important design skill?

Yes, I think so. The process of repairing an item is also a way to know how it was made. So, trying to understand how an object was made is an essential link for design.

Do Research

  1. What are 2-3 possible ways this object could be repaired?

First, I can try to fix it on its original basis, like make up the printing pattern by hand drawing and sew the damaged part directly. Or I can break it up then sew it a new shape. Also, I can add some fabric on the bag.

What do you need in order to do the repair? Do you have the materials and skills?

I may use the sewing machine, so I need to prepare the thread and needle and sewing foot for that. I can get some free fabric in the textile lab or buy them from the mood.

Construct a Hypothesis

  1. What will your process of repair be? How long do you expect the repair take? How long do you want your repair to last?

Because I have not decided which kind of fabric to use, so I am not sure what kind of technical problems I will face. I hope I will not get some problems that I can’t handle. I will say it may take me 2-3 days to repair. I hope my repair can last more than half year.

3)  Next week we will have kintsugi (gold joinery) artist Gen Saratani as a guest. In preparation, please learn more about his work here (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and watch the following video on kintsugi.

What questions do you have about kintsugi

Is kintsugi a complicated craft?

What kind of skills does this technology require?

Lacquer, the base of kintsugi repair, has been used in repair for nearly 1000 years in Japan. Are there similar practices of repair in your home country?  

Actually, there are quite a lot repair technologies in my home country, I don’t know those technologies’ name, but there was a documentary just for introducing those technologies and people who are working in Forbidden City in order to repair antiques. The name of this documentary is “Masters in the Forbidden City”.

What kinds of systems and human actions do you think enables a process of repair such as kintsugi to be practiced and refined over hundreds of years? 

Now people are paying more and more attention to environmental protection, we began to study clean energy, in order to cause a smaller burden on the environment.

4) Read the following four articles on repair and answer the following questions. 

– At Repair Cafes, ‘Beloved but Broken’ Possessions Find New LifeLinks to an external site.. Would you like to visit a repair cafe? Why do you think so many people are interested in repair? 

Yes, I’d like to go. Because people have memories on a specific object, this object’s value may much higher than itself. Even though it broke, but people still want to fix it and keep this value for them.

   – Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax breaks for repairs.Links to an external site. Would you like to see this kind of tax be possible in your home country? Do you think it is possible there or the United States? Why or why not?

Yes, I would, but it’s really hard to achieve in my home country, as well as United States I think. Because Sweden has entirely different national conditions with both China and America; if China and America open this tax benefit, it may cause a huge taxes risk for the country. Also, the United States is a significant individual in the world economic system, any change in its tax economy will have an impact on the world economy, which cannot be estimated within a short period of time.

–  Spend the Money for the Good Boots and Wear the ForeverLinks to an external site.. Were you surprised by this article? Do you agree with the author? Do you think an object has to be expensive to be well made? What might make people want to take care of objects, even if they aren’t expensive?

I feel surprised and also pretty like the theory that author mentioned, spend more money for higher quality stuff can save more money than buy cheaper one. I very agree with the author. But I don’t think an object has to be expensive to be well made. I had an experience on it, three years ago, I bought a bath towel in China, I didn’t buy it in any shop, it is from a stall on the street. The owner is an old lady. The quality of those towels on that booth areexcellent, and that old lady told me these were originally for export. So I bought a bath towel at last moment. The price of this bath towel is only one-third of the store price. I use this towel until today, it does not have any damage and does not fade, and always remain soft. So I think the primary factor determining the final sale price is not the cost of production, but the sales channel. Because I think now the market price of many commodities are unrealistically high.

If an object has a special value for people, such a memory or high added value, even though that object is super cheap, people will still take care of it in a serious way.

– Origami-inspired clothing line that grows with kids wins Dyson award (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. What do you think of this design? What is most innovative about it? Do you think it’s possible for adults to enjoy long life design clothing or objects that transform/change in other ways (than getting bigger)? What kind of designs might be possible? 

I think his idea is impressive; it does solve a lot of problems for environment and parents’ wallet. The most innovative are the clothes can grow with kids. But I recommend he redesign the style of those clothes, from the angle of a fashion designer. I think the transferable long life design is possible for everyone, that does mater the users are kids or adults. Some designs are modularized, which means the product only need to change some small pieces to meet the needs of users. For example,  the most vulnerable part of shoes is the soles, so, some high-end shoe manufacturers provide replacement service for bottoms, so that a pair of shoes can be used for several years or even decades.

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