Self-Destructing Ideas (To Sit or Not to Sit)

Imagine if you had an idea. A great one. Something that might amaze people. Only to have that idea explode into nothingness after a few people hear about it. This is not fiction. It’s a reality.

Book and music companies use digital rights management (DRM) to control how their products are used. Harper Collins only allows library users to check out a book so many times before the book “self-destructs”. They say that this mimics the wear and tear on a real book. But the digital copy doesn’t have wear and tear. It’s just an idea.

To make this point even more absurd, take a look at the Self Destruct Chair by graphic designer Thibault Brevet. This seat is designed to allow eight people the pleasure of sitting on it. After that, it falls apart and you need to buy a new one.

DRM CHAIR from Thibault Brevet on Vimeo.

We’re all used to products built as cheaply as possible so that it easily breaks. Then you really do nee to buy a new one. But ideas don’t break. That’s what a digital book is. An idea. Yes, companies need to make money, but limiting library access is ridiculous.

Another example of seats that attack back comes from China. It seems there are too few benches in parts to accommodate all the butts that want a seat. Most people would assume you’d simply build more parks. Nope, the folks of the Yantai Park in Shangdong province, eastern China, have other ideas. The benches are coin operated. Yes. They have spikes that stick up to keep you from sitting. Slip in a coin and get a few precious minutes of ass time before the iron maiden spikes skewer your nether regions.

park-bench-spikes_1697959i

Oh, for safety reasons, the benches emit a piercing bleep just before the spikes pop up. So now we’ve destroyed two ideas: The idea of sitting on a bench, and the idea of a quiet park (imagine the chorus of beeping, coupled with the occasional yelp from a slow park-goer).

Incidentally, the Chinese were not responsible for this brilliant idea. The bench above is built by Fabian Brunsing and is called the Pay & Sit bench. Apparently, this has been torturing Europeans for a few years now. Check out this video (meant as an actual advertisement to get you to purchase one).

PAY & SIT: the private bench (HD) from Fabian Brunsing on Vimeo.

I think the next logical step is this:

art_conceptuel_small

This is a conceptual art piece titled “Office Terror” designed by Johan Schulé. I think this artist nailed it (so to speak) that sitting is a pleasure and should not be overlooked. Just like any idea. You can’t tax or make money off of it.

Tim Kane

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2 comments on “Self-Destructing Ideas (To Sit or Not to Sit)

  1. […] (often way past when it needs to be updated). For an interesting aside on this matter, read how companies are dealing with ebooks and libraries. But buying a set of ebooks for a school is more like purchasing a software subscription (or at […]

  2. A self-destructing chair and a spiky pay-as-you-sit bench? Both pretty bizarre concepts, but hardly surprising in the consumer-driven economy we have today. Nothing lasts. Everything is disposable. What the heck are you supposed to do with your chair once it’s been sat on 8 times? Toss it in the trash along with all your used-up Swiffer products? And what if you want to sit longer than the two minutes your coin allows you? Spend a fortune to sit and enjoy nature? Crazy ideas, if you ask me – just like making libraries pay more for e-books after a short lending span. Physical books last longer than e-book sellers want you to believe.

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