Saturday, January 30, 2010

When Planned Obsolescense Is Green (originally published 9/11/08)

"In the early 1800s, urban preservation focused on buildings that were about 200 years old. By the 1960s, that number had decreased to 40 years. 'We can theorize that the interval might soon disappear,' says Margeret Arbanas, who conducts research on preservation at Harvard GSD with Rem Koolhaas. 'By deciding what to preserve before we build, we can plan for certain buildings to last a long time while others could be imagined as having an expiration date.' Future preservation sites could be distributed systematically. This would enable what she likes to call 'short-term architecture' - buildings designed for a limited life, which could be uniquely experimental, radical, visionary and speculative." (p. 205, DWELL, October 2008)

Is this a fresh - perhaps "green" - way of looking at product development in general? Product developers often talk of "gaming the life cycle", but usually in terms of just getting ahead of it. Can we use "planned obsolescence" to actually be "green"?

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