Friday, September 14, 2018

IKEA Hacker ASKS - how much is YOUR OWN WORK worth to you?

[picture shows IKEA hacked Sektion box re-made into a bench, with a single Grimslov drawer face attached to a Maximera drawer; sitting on a custom base kick that was built according to instructions found on Kosnik's blog]

Chapter 1 - The Future of WORK - how much is YOUR OWN labour worth to you?

With the Design Festival deadline fast approaching I have been pondering a submission to present some of my work at the TO DO Symposium. SO every year the organizers put on an event where they invite professionals - designers, thinkers, scientists - to share their work, their research, their philosophy, their views with the audience. This year they are asking about 'The future of WORK'. 
For me the question rather seems - How do we see the future of LABOUR

I say it because a large portion of what I do - IKEA Hacking - involves creation of physical objects and thus my own physical labour.  More, it involves creation of physical objects that improve people's lives - so not only I fabricate but I also design. A firm believer in Democratic Design, I do not hoard my knowledge, but rather spread it, making it publicly available on the Internet - how do I hack the Billy bookcase? How do I extend the life of a PAX wardrobe? how do I free the SEKTION box from the rigid planner? Yes! - it is all available free of charge on my blog! 

I will save my best arguments for the actual presentation, but I will leave you with these thoughts - all linking to the idea of IKEA Hacking! - 

True STORY - 'IKEA is killing it'  - a quote from another finish-carpenter/cabinetmaker who decided to move from St. Catherines [so a small city well within reach of IKEA delivery or pick up...], ON to a remote village in the cottage country, just south of the beautiful Algonquin park. He says since the move his small shop has not stopped running building kitchens and vanities and closets. What does that indicate? And how would that small community react if suddenly IKEA kitchens became accessible in that region - how would the work dynamic shift in the region for all those cabinet making shops?

And most curious - I told him about how much a '10 feet  by 10 feet' kitchen costs to purchase at IKEA, including all the fancy doors. He was stunned because he never shopped at IKEA before. I told him - 'design your kitchen, rent a van and bring it all up here - you've got the skill to make it shine!' I knew that he was intrigued!

An anecdote - a friend tells me about an older co-worker who decided to quit his job and build his retirement house. Why? He has the skill to do it - a skill he acquired as a young man - and the savings of him taking 2 years off his work to build and manage the project far outweigh the costs of him hiring a professional builder to construct his dream retirement. Think about it - it is cheaper to quit and build [if you got the skill] then to pay someone to do it. Those are the realities. 

Observation - true luxury is being able to construct your own environment exactly to your liking - without it costing 'a million dollars'. Hmmm.... suddenly being a designer/maker is not such a bad gig at all... There are just so many things that you can personalize! DO a makeover on! Make it your own!

You know, I had a show few months back that I called 'Handy is the NEW COOL' - and I wasn't on the telly only because I was parking my car and the TV crew had to move on to deliver the content. 

Anyhow.... keep reading the blog - it's e-mails like these that make my day! - read on - from an actual e-mail - they hail from the most famous of New York City! - I love the BIG APPLE - I gave them some PAX advice - 'internacjonal'

'Hi Karol,

Sorry for the slow reply, we have been busy with a baby, but thank you so much for sending all of this! Very much appreciated and useful advice. We have been looking at some of your blog posts and it's really insightful - we're still doing our due diligence on the options but we might use your info quite closely.

Anyway, wanted to say thanks again and wish you were in the neighborhood to help us!

Cody and MK'