Toward a History of Upcycling

An Electrical Guitar Company guitar designed by Kevin Burkett.

An Electrical Guitar Company guitar designed by Kevin Burkett.

As 2014 begins, I have added one paper to my Academia.edu profile.

Back in October, I presented a paper on the history of upcycling at the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) conference, discussing aluminum use and reuse since World War II in transportation, furniture, and musical instruments in an effort to understand the historical precedents for the 21st-century design strategies discussed by industrial designers (and most famously by Cradle to Cradle advocates William McDonough and Michael Braungart in one of last year’s most notable books).

That paper, including several of the photographs I used in my presentation, is now online. (The image in this post is an all-aluminum EGC guitar designed by Kevin Burkett, one of several guitar designers employing aluminum over the past half century.)  Since the paper is intended to generate conversation, please feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

 

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