It has taken me some years to find my path. I believe that were I born in a previous era, I would have found my way to the field of engineering, as that seems to be the my core interest: solving problems and building better things. Alas, this was not the case, and I was born into sick world from the toxic effects of over consumption and growth. The principle of problem solving is no longer the goal of the average engineer beyond the band-aids slapped onto the bad designs inherited from the last iteration of uber-complex, mass produced garbage.
Having just entered my third decade of life, the aggregate experiences of working many jobs, social experiences, and a decent body of literature, has left me with the humbling realization that although I do not have a solution to the world’s problems, I nonetheless recognize their existence and severity. My greatest criticism of our technological culture lies in the things we make, their social and environmental consequences, and the obsessive, bordering religious, quest for “progress” which has been described by others as a “cult of efficiency”.
I am one man, with a variety of basic skills, writing well not being one of them, but I have learned and applied these skills in several vocations that typically involve the maintenance of industrial machines and furtherance of the systems underlying industrial society. Each one of these positions came with it a new perspective of engineering, design, the bureaucracy of management, and dynamics of the economic and political system which governs it: neo-liberalism.
Listing back and forth between cynicism of human nature, and hope that society’s ills are derived from an infectious culture that can be healed if only given time to run its course, I wouldn’t say I’ve so much arrived at an answer, as much as I’ve concluded that regardless of the expected course of events, my life is my own, and I will pursue my goals and create things that are beautiful and respectful of those whom might encounter them.
It is my stated goal to design and build a holistic refrigerator which will last 100 years. This machine will function well, be easily serviced, designed to be modular in construction, and aesthetically pleasing so as to provide the incentive of the owner to maintain and cherish it. Once the machine has outlived its useful life, the components can be either re-purposed, or easily recycled, without any appreciable waste. The path toward this goal will result in many units which will not meet these criteria, but through the iterative process I will make continued improvements through a process of planned integrity.
I’ll be first in line for a refrigerator that would last years, plus have salvageable parts after it’s lifespan was over. Reduce, reuse and recycle applies to this, too.
I am definitely interested in serving the tiny house/ off grid community as well with this. In many ways, minimalists are of primary concern.