Like Jeans, Some Tech Gear is Better Worn-In

Like Jeans, Some Tech Gear is Better Worn-In

Taryn Williford
May 10, 2011

A flawless, shiny new tablet (with the factory screen film still on, of course) might be the epitome of tech aesthetic for some folks. But just like decorating tastes vary from person to person, so does their style when it comes to personal devices. One blogger at Design Mind has written an inspiring ode to his well-worn iPhone and (not digital!) Canon camera. Will it make you want to hang on to your gear longer?

Just like a ripped up pair of jeans or an antique table with its paint chipped off, some people like the look of well-worn objects. The sentiment is especially prevalent in decorating, even given a moniker from the Japanese, "wabi sabi," as Grace Shu explains at Apartment Therapy Los Angeles:

Wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection: it values simplicity, uncluttered, underplayed, and modest surroundings. Authenticity is key to wabi-sabi philosophy: the presence of cracks and scratches in things are considered to be symbolic of the passing of time, weather, and loving use--and should be embraced.

But in the consumer electronics industry, where new becomes old faster than anywhere else, can worn-in wabi sabi still be appreciated?

Yes, according to Remy Labesque at Design Mind. His Apple iPhone and Canon camera are both at the end of their useful lives; the phone's stopped working and the film camera's not-so-suddenly out of date. But before tossing them over to e-waste recyclers, he stopped to appreciate their years-old beauty, detailing their individual wears in this awesome article.

His account makes us think about the ways we view "old." It's easy to appreciate broken-in jeans or the scratches on the face of your grandmother's pocket watch. We even learn to love the aesthetic of vintage tech, like century-old cameras. But the gear that's just fallen out of vogue is deemed trash.

Does that mean we'll make a go at making our iPad 2 last until iPad 22? Probably not. We're always pushed to upgrade our gear based on new features more so than a new look.

What about you? Do you love the wabi sabi look of old tech? Tell us in the comments!

Design Mind via Gizmodo

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