‘Chindogu’ – Japanese for unuseless idea

17 11 2008


the 10 tenents of chindogu

1. a chindogu cannot be for real use.

iIt is fundamental to the spirit of chindogu that inventions 
claiming chindogu status must be, from a practical point of 
view, (almost) completely useless. if you invent something 
which turns out to be so handy that you use it all the time, 
then you have failed to make a chindogu. 
try the patent office.

2. a chindogu must exist.

you are not allowed to use a chindogu, but it must be made. 
you have to be able to hold it in your hand and think: 
‘I can actually imagine someone using this. almost.’ 
in order to be useless, it must first be.

3. inherent in every chindogu is the spirit of anarchy.

chindogu are man-made objects that have broken free from 
the chains of usefulness. they represent freedom of thought 
and action: the freedom to challenge the suffocating historical 
dominance of conservative utility; the freedom to be (almost) 
useless.

4. chindogu are tools for every day life.

chindogu are a form of nonverbal communication understandable 
to everyone, everywhere. specialized or technical inventions, 
like a three- handled sprocket loosener for drainpipes centered 
between two under-the sink cabinet door (the uselessness of 
which will only be appreciated by plumbers), do not count.

5. chindogu are not for sale.

chindogu are not tradable commodities. if you accept money 
for one you surrender your purity. they must not even be sold 
as a joke.

6. humor must not be the sole reason for creating a chindogu.

the creation of chindogu is fundamentally a problem-solving 
activity. humor is simply the by-product of finding an elaborate 
or unconventional solution to a problem that may not have 
been that pressing to begin with.

7. chindogu is not propaganda.

chindogu are innocent. they are made to be used, 
even though they cannot be used. they should not be created 
as a perverse or ironic comment on the sorry state of mankind.

8. chindogu are never taboo.

the international chindogu society has established certain 
standards of social decency. cheap sexual innuendo, humor 
of a vulgar nature, and sick or cruel jokes that debase the 
sanctity of living things are not allowed.

9. chindogu cannot be patented.

chindogu are offerings to the rest of the world, they are not 
therefore ideas to be copyrighted, patented, collected and owned. 
as they say in spain, ‘mi chindogu es tu chindogu’.

10. chindogu are without prejudice.

chindogu must never favor one race or religion over another. 
young and old, male and female, rich and poor, all should have 
a free and equal chance to enjoy each and every chindogu.

 


FISHING APPARATUS
WILLIAM R. LAMB
patented february 20, 1894
image courtesy edward p. dutkiewicz   


SALUTING DEVICE
JAMES C. BOYLE
patented march 10, 1896
image courtesy edward p. dutkiewicz


EYE PROTECTOR FOR CHICKENS
ANDREW JACKSON, JR.
patented december 10, 1902
image courtesy edward p. dutkiewicz


MIRROR SUPPORT
E. A. & E. W. THAYER
patented may 23, 1905
image courtesy edward p. dutkiewicz


FIRE-ESCAPES
PASQUALE NIGRO
patented february 9, 1909
image courtesy edward p. dutkiewicz


FINGERTIP TOOTHBRUSH
US patent 5,875,513 / issued 1999
image courtesy ted van cleave


ALARM FORK 
US patent 5,421,089 / issued 1995
image courtesy ted van cleave


NOSE WIPE 
US patent 4,365,889 / issued 1985
image courtesy ted van cleave


INSTANT FACE LIFT
US patent 4,995,379 / issued 1991
image courtesy ted van cleave


‘butter stick’ (not patented), 1995
courtesy kenji kawakami


‘food cooler’ (not patented), 1997
courtesy kenji kawakami


‘drymobile’ (not patented), 1997
courtesy kenji kawakami


‘duster slippers’ (not patented), 1995
courtesy kenji kawakami


‘needs washing’ (not patented), 1995
courtesy kenji kawakami  


Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: