Harvard Design Magazine 43 investigates and unpacks the contents, containers, and systems of storage that organize our world. Here it is: “Shelf Life”.
Harvard Design Magazine 43, Fall/Winter 2016 – Vast portions of the landscape are claimed and governed by spaces of storage, their maintenance, and the goods that move through them—or remain buried within them indefinitely.
Storage is the aggregation and containment of the material and immaterial stuff of culture; but also the safeguarding—or hoarding—of energy and tools for some imagined future purpose. How does all this stuff mask or overcompensate for economic and ecological bankruptcy? Is storage about greed or need? Storage, perhaps, is everything we can live without but insist on living with.
“Shelf Life” explores what’s inside the box (shed, tank, urn, vault, crypt, crate, case, pot, bag, vat, morgue, safe, bin, archive, warehouse, cabinet, cellar, cemetery, depository, locker, freezer, landfill, library). Even as we claim to reduce and recycle, the stuff that we dispose of also needs to be stored. Where do we put it? Our planet is now a saturated receptacle. This warehouse is full, and we’re all inside it.
Harvard Design Magazine 43 combines contributions by noted critics and historians including Emily King, Clare Lyster, and Mimi Zeiger; designers Jacques Herzog, Anupama Kundoo, and Kersten Geers; and unexpected voices like artist Tom Burr, novelist Brian Evenson, photographer Armin Linke, author and illustrator Maira Kalman, and many others.