I found this neat website called How Stuff is Made. It’s an online visual encyclopedia that visually documents every process in the production of goods. I found the concept to be an intriguing way for students to learn and consider all the many pieces that go into making a product. I also appreciated how it encouraged businesses and production to be more transparent so we can share ideas instead of hide them.
Here’s more info about it from the site:
If you wanted to transform the industry into something more sustainable which strategy would you prefer? Would your method be characterized by secrecy and non disclosure agreements? Or would you rather promote openness and communicate where are the new ideas, the good materials? If you think of what you possess and what you wear, how much can you really account for? Do you know anything about the labor conditions? Or how these products recycle once they are dumped? We are supposed to live right into the information age, we often complain of being flooded with too much information, yet we know very little when it comes to toxic activities.
For the How Stuff Is Made visual essays, each students have to make their way inside manufactories and discuss with workers, employees, designers, etc. The students document every processes, labor conditions and environmental impacts involved in the production of the good. Afterwards they list a series of suggestions to improve the manufacturing process. Making some discoveries along the way: such as Chinese workers receiving 45 cents per hour to make the American flag or Chinese fortune cookie made mostly in Chicago by Hispanics. One of the project’s aims is to redirect manufacturing practices and consumer purchasing decisions toward a transparent and legible information base.
(Link & Quote taken from We Make Money Not Art).