PSFK Asks The Purple List, What Norms, Systems, & Products Need To Be Reassessed?

PSFK Asks The Purple List, What Norms, Systems, & Products Need To Be Reassessed?

PSFK asks our PurpleList experts, what needs to be reexamined and changed in the modern world?

Nestor Bailly, PSFK
  • 23 september 2011

Drawing inspiration from this interview, PSFK asked our global network of experts whether they could identify stagnant norms, systems, processes, and products that needed to be reexamined and changed. Here are a few PurpleList members’ answers:

Britt Davis: Recently I have been getting into the subject of Biophilic Design.

With the release of the documentary, Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life and the accumulating research into the benefits of nature, I think this is a societal norm that must be re-evaluated. Indeed, sustainability talks about reducing our impact on the environment. However, campaigns like NWF’s ‘Be Out There’ catalogue the myriad benefits of allowing nature to impact us more- from better eyesight to more productive workers. Why does the workday have to occur indoors? Why can’t our walls be covered in plants? Why is nature viewed as everything outside of us?

Patients in a biophilic hospital room recover up to 20% faster. I’m down with that.

Peter Carberry: Since I was a kid I’ve always been fascinated by Kraft ‘singles.’

Why were they individually wrapped? Why was there only 8 in a pack? AND why did I want them so bad!! That small yellow block of tangy deliciousness used to stare at me while I waited for my mom to get her 2 lbs of white American cheese at the deli for me and my 4 sisters. Sometimes I would take a tantrum, use the ‘we’re poor and never have anything nice’ card, and guilt my mom into getting us a pack once in a while.

When we got home you better believe my sisters and I would claim our slices. We each got one and the other 3 left over squares would be evenly distributed by my oldest sister, whose age and and size would qualify her for the leftovers.

Looking back there was something really fun about opening up each individual slice with just enough precision so as not to tear the plastic. It was a like a birthday card or present. It was a gourmet treat. It was nothing less than special.

As a branding specialist in fashion and CPG, I’ve come to understand what makes something feel special. What makes something sell. What the consumer wants, and so on. We continue to package our world without first unwrapping it to see where there might be opportunities to change and reduce the amount of effort and waste that goes into making something feel special/safe. Food is a huge one! Our culture and markets have been designed to wrap, stock and restock as fast as they can. Hygiene, FDA regulations, the coming of the SUPER market, consumer perception, and many other factors contribute to the reasons why we package everything from bread to cheese.

I think the above article is a great model to learn from when it comes to food. The automobile, how mundane, but as a result, one of the most powerful contributors to destructive waste and urban planning. Food is grown, packaged, purchased, and eaten by everyone, everyday. A huge contributor to waste, the way we shop, not to mention obesity. Let’s start looking at the food industry from the inside out, instead of the outside in and maybe we’ll discover new ways to handle our food before wrapping it up and tossing it away.

As industry professionals we are faced with difficult challenges and I believe it is up to us to constantly rethink how to make positive change instead of just going with the flow. I’ll be participating in this challenge as I determine how food is prepared and delivered for a new restaurant concept soon to be at a location near you.

I will publish my findings as they come… Wish me luck!

The PurpleList connects businesses with the world’s leading creative minds. It’s an easy-to-use marketplace in which organizations and individuals can ask questions to a broad range of skilled professionals.

Read all the responses here — and if you’re already a PurpleList member, leave your comments there too.

PSFK readers can sign up for expert membership using this link:


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