“In an increasingly deskilled society,” wrote the sociologist Richard Sennett, “‘making’ can be viewed as a form of political resistance.” British designer Paulo Goldstein recently took this to heart, dumpster-diving not only as part of a design job, but as an opportunity for commentary on our culture of consumption.

London’s Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design tasked Goldstein with outfitting one of its entry rooms. Inspired by the idea that scarcity could be an opportunity rather than a constraint, the recent grad put together a team that scoured London for bits of broken furniture. Using only 980 feet of rope and pieces of old chairs and tables, Goldstein’s team furnished the entry room with 10 cobbled-together chairs, a side table, main table, and wooden mobile.

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Writes Fast Company:

“[O]nce somebody starts making — using the potential humans have to be creative, to produce tools, to make something we really need or want — you’re going against the whole system,” [Goldstein says].

He hopes that more people will start heading to the street, collecting and rebuilding or redesigning products instead of shopping. “It’s a way to fight the idea that we’re supposed to throw things away or produce more and more stuff that won’t last.”

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The phrase “voting with your dollars” gets tossed around a lot — but intentionally repairing something instead of replacing it is a powerful statement too.

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