And you wonder why the war's taking so long.. Image from: http://yarp.motivatedphotos.com/?id=16825&src=userpage

Alright, so it isn’t exactly a bazooka we’re talking about here. But Compostapalooza is a pretty weird name isn’t it?

Either way, it’s an effort by Quirky.com and Uncommongoods.com to come up with a unique crowd-source designed apartment composter.

What an incredible way to get our attention 🙂

If you aren’t familiar with Quirky, allow me to give a quick run-down of it. Essentially, Quirky is the complete anti-thesis of traditional designing. For a traditional designing process, you either lock designers in a room until they come up with something everyone acknowledges as pure genius (Ă  la Apple), or you solicit opinion from your target audience and give them as close to what they want as possible (Ă  la everyone who is not named Apple).

Quirky's design process. Image taken from http://www.quirky.com/learn

The latter is of course known as user-experience design (UXD), a field that both Michelle and I have worked on before. Quirky is UXD taken to the extreme, and that extreme is called crowd-sourced design. Everyone (and I mean everyone) gets to submit ideas and vote on the ones they like. ‘What is being discussed?’ you ask. Everything. From color to size to where the handle should be placed. That’s crowd-sourced design.

Quirky is one of the pioneers in this field, and while I wouldn’t venture so far as to say that they’ve perfected the art of it, I do feel that they’ve gotten it right for most part and even pointed the way for the future of crowd-sourced design. The catch, of course, is if they’re a part of it at all. That is another discussion altogether.

Quirky, being quirky and all, got my attention a long time ago and I’ve been its member for over a year now. Albeit not a very active member, I still keep up with their developments every so often. For this blog, I have decided to take this opportunity to report on the Compostapalooza event; you will get a privileged view from the inside, as I navigate through the entire design process.

To be honest, this Compostapalooza caught my eye in the first place because I thought (and still think) it wouldn’t work out. First, let me say that this is just an opinion and I could be wildly off, but it is still an honest one nevertheless.

Second and more importantly, I think Compostapalooza has gotten its direction wrong. As mentioned in the beliefs of Kainosis™, we’ve learnt that composting is a field that is strangely underestimated. Everyone thinks it’s a simple thing to do that’s just plain troublesome. But really, composting is an intricate art which we believe needs to be properly explained.

It is true that some forms of composting are utterly simple, but the crux of it all is to understand the entire composting eco-system. Some crucial things that affect composting are space, weather and even your neighbors! These are constantly ignored and are often reasons why many composting projects do not work out.

As we’ve mentioned in the last few weeks, we have come to believe that our work here at Kainosis™ is far more important than most people know. In the naming and reframing of composting to better encompass all its aspects, we (humbly and sincerely) believe we could become the Tim O’Reilly of Web 2.0. This is especially with regards to composting in the tropics and apartment composting.

All things aside, we’ll get a chance to see if I’m wrong about Compostapalooza or not, although it honestly will take months to truly find out – that’s about the time it will take for Quirky‘s apartment composter to hit production and pre-sales.

Note: Quirky does not mass produce its products even after final vetting. Rather, it accumulates a number of pre-sales to generate the first batch of production before it sells through other avenues. Of course, pre-sales are supposed to be when the product is at its cheapest.

So starting Monday (that’s US time, so it’ll be Tuesday Singapore time), I’ll be running reports on how the Compostapalooza is going. I’m sure there’ll be plenty for everyone to learn about and maybe you’ll be interested in picking up one yourself too! You never know!

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