the wheel is in spin but I am sitting in the axle, a whirling shopping mall revolving around the Starbucks at the center of the transit lounge in Heathrow, stuck for six and a half hours on my way to Ahmedabad, sampling the Scapa (even smaller distillery in Orkney than the Erdadour, which is Lowland I think), watching the world’s most amazing parade of humanity and hoping to a pantheon that I can get an aisle seat for the next eight hours. The spinning wheel is something called STUFF, and the great Chicago preservation architect Gunny Harboe sent a link to the STUFF site http://www.storyofstuff.com, which really makes you think about a materials economy based on consumption. You should see it – fun for the kids too. We can’t just change the nonsustainability of our society by consuming green stuff, since it is stuff too and most stuff – including buildings built since 1950 – is made to be thrown out. Historic preservation is not the only part of sustainability, but it is essential because building construction and destruction is one of the most harmful parts of the waste chain. I will say this in India at our conference when I discuss the Issues and where the movement is going today. Things are changing in this world, and you may soon see a whole generation rejecting not just carism and bigboxism but consumerism, which has been a literal article of faith (STUFF explains the designed religiosity of postwar consumerism) for two generations. I sense it is ending, and I think it will be dramatic. Preservation is not so dramatic as big social movements, but at least we are on the right side of this one.
I think I will buy the SCAPA. I like to buy things that I consume and recycle myself.