Author: M. G.
The marketing expression “planned obsolescence” refers to a process that deeply affects modern life and culture in industrialized countries, it simply means that most items we buy are designed to become obsolete sooner rather than later. In other words, we can say that most ‘objects’ we buy – the t-shirt you bought yesterday as well as the software you use in your computer – almost everything is meant to be old within a planned period of time. It’s not important if your t-shirt is cheap or extremely expensive, I’m pretty sure you’re going to buy another one soon, since the old one or will have holes in some months or won’t simply be trendy the following season. You can disagree with this process, however it’s how our world works, it’s the culture of consumerism, baby!!! It is the same in many other fields, for example: technology. Every year tens of new amazing devices are launched as the solution to our "old" problems. It doesn’t matter if it’s a computer, a smartphone or an OS, next year everything will be replaced by something more “amazing”. Thank god for vintage clothes, they are always cool, and they can be a way out from this crazy system. Some researchers from the Stockholm University have recently done something similar, they re-used an old – actually an ‘obsolete’ – DVD player in a laser scanning microscope able to conduct HIV tests which would normally call for expensive lab machinery (read some articles here and here). This originality was not welcomed with all the shiny marketing campaigns, that international brands employs, but I personally found it amazing. This is what should be called ‘innovation’ and this is the direction that the big brands who call themselves "innovators" should follow.