Are we a throw away society? Is it planned that way? Are we victims of the consumer cycle, constantly wanting the newest gadget even though our current one is just fine?
Museum London explores all of these questions.
The museum now hosts a brand new exhibition entitled “Out With The Old? Creating a ‘Throw-Away’ Society.”
From some of Thomas Edison’s original inventions to a computer from 1995, the exhibition represents the evolution of time, technology, and society’s need for the next best, convenient, thing.
The brains behind the operation is Dr. Amber Loydlangston, a curator for the museum. She was looking in the vault one day and felt inspiration for the new exhibition. She says society as a whole comes down to three kinds of obsolescence, and she wanted to explore them.
The three kinds of obsolescence are technological, psychological, and planned obsolescence
Technological obsolescence is the belief that technology evolves and improves everyday life. Dr. Loydlangston says a perfect example in this exhibit is Thomas Edison’s phonograph.
Psychological obsolescence is when you convince yourself or are convinced by advertisements that certain things are old fashioned.
“You wouldn’t be caught dead carrying around a 1980’s silver boombox on your shoulder….you want your iPod.”
Lastly planned obsolescence is when things break according to plan so the consumer would have to buy the newest model of any item that conveniently comes out around the same time the old one start to break down. It’s calculated failure.
“Sometimes planned obsolescence and psychological obsolescence work together where manufacturers will produce minor changes in say, a car, and then market it as something that is a must have thing.”
These points are emphasized as you explore the exhibiton. It also holds London sports history and appliances development history, from a team photo of the London’s men’s curling team in the early 1900’s to the evolution of the vacuum.
This exhibition at Museum London runs until January 1st and admission to the museum is by donation.