Meet Issue One and Peak Stuff
2016 is well under way, and so is Ligature Journal Issue One! We are back, bigger and better than ever, with some exciting new content and features for everyone to enjoy. With a new group of Billy Blue students bringing their fresh viewpoint on design, Ligature Journal is ready to make its mark on 2016 with enthusiasm and energy. These students are excited and ready to challenge, inspire and inform you through some hard hitting truths and some exciting revelations. What better way to do this than through the theme of Issue One — Peak Stuff! ‘Peak Stuff’ is not the equipment you buy for your bucket-list climb up Kilimanjaro, it is a theory.
In the rather sober language of the New Scientist, it is the idea that ‘beyond a certain level of economic development, people simply stop consuming so much. … Our demands on planetary resources stabilise — and ultimately begin to fall.’ Many theorists (and the head of the sustainability unit at IKEA) think we have reached peak stuff. People are buying less, and asking more of what they do buy. So even if you don’t know what ‘peak stuff’ is, you probably have been experiencing it. Lots of people are talking about it, and what it might mean for the future of the economy and the planet. We want to know what it means to us as designers.
So we have set out to explore, investigate and celebrate our relationship with ‘stuff’ — what we buy, why we buy it, why we keep it and where, what happens to it if we don’t keep it, and (most importantly) what is the role of design in all of this. So keep in touch, and meet some of the amazing people who have agreed to talk ‘peak stuff’ with us.
UPDATE: At the beginning of 2016 we came across the term ‘peak stuff’ in an intriguing context. Steve Howard, the head of sustainability at IKEA, was speaking at a Guardian Live event in London and said ‘If we look at a global basis, in the West we probably hit peak oil. I’d say we’ve hit peak red meat, peak sugar, peak stuff … peak home furnishings.’ That statement created a flurry of interest in news media across the world, and sent our editor off on a research mission to find out what ‘peak stuff’ meant.
Ligature Journal Issue One was released in August 2016. You can get a copy (and other issues as well) at Tiliqua Press.