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What’s In Your Stuff?

What's In Your Stuff?

Image source: whatsinmystuff.org

How much do you know about the elements that make up our “everyday” items? Chances are, if it’s inside our mobile phone our our computer, or just about any other gadget, it’s not only invisible to us, but it’s also virtually unknown to us.

But a project from Sheffield Hallam University aims to give us a deeper look into the components that comprise our stuff, and raises some interesting (and important) questions.

In today’s developed societies we all own an unprecedented amount of “stuff” and nothing is more representative of this than our attitudes to the mobile phone. The increasing demand for smartphones in developed societies and the huge market for mobile phones in the developing countries have led us to ask the following questions:

  • Do you know what’s in the stuff you use every day?
  • Do you know where the chemical elements in your things come from, how they’re extracted and how much is left on our planet?
  • How often do you discard something rare and precious without even realizing it?

The What’s In My Stuff (WIMS) project, which is a collaboration between two materials scientists and a jewelry and metalwork designer, seeks to explore effective methods for engaging the users of “everyday” technology, in order to find out what their views on tech devices are, and to inform them of the key issues involved in the high-tech consumer gadget markets, such as critical materials supply, recycling and sustainability.

The intention of the What’s In My Stuff? project is to engage the public and raise awareness of the chemical elements used in our everyday objects and to explore whether an emotional connection between people and high technology devices can be created through the making of contemporary jewellery objects. – WIMS

What's In Your Stuff?

Image source: whatsinmystuff.org

As part of the WIMS project, jewelry designer and metalworker Maria Hanson deconstructs and transforms parts and pieces of mobile phones into “thought-provoking” jewelry, effectively using the medium of jewelry “as a device for engaging audiences in a commentary about the materials used in mobile phone technology”.

Find out more about What’s In My Stuff at the project website.

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