By repurposing old forms and giving them new meaning and uses it is possible to create something lasting.

Lots of creativity comes from using old forms for new purposes.

After World War II, on the campus of the University of British Columbia, people took the quonset huts that had housed soliders and turned them into classrooms.

Old form, new purpose.

But there is nothing really all that creative about the quonset hut conversion.  In both cases, old and new, the hut serves as shelter.

What’s more interesting is when we find a new application for something old.

Exhibit 1

I am corresponding with a woman called Barbara Monteiro.  Barbara has this amazing email style.  She starts her message in the subject heading and then at some point leaps into the text.  It gives her emails pace and a certain breathless excitement.  And in what 10 years of email it’s the first time, I’ve seen email “reinvented” in this way.

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