Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Half-baked: Business cards

In a meeting Monday, a very nice sales rep handed me his business card. He sheepishly explained that he had a new cell number and didn't have new cards yet. He inked out the old number and wrote in his new one. This got me thinking about all the obsolete business cards out there. In many companies, every time something changes--promotion, layoffs, new corporate logo--the printer is called, and a shiny new box of cards appears.

So, what to do with the old cards?
I had a quirky friend in Dallas who used to get a huge kick out of using other people's cards to assume a secret identity for a day. That's handy if you're a superhero (or evil mastermind), but not particularly useful in our context. The trusty interweb was pretty light on great DIY ideas. Other than clever origami and some wonderfully obsessive construction projects, nothing really inspired me.

However, our focus at SF Green Labs this month is lighting, so here's my half-baked* idea for today: Is there a way to use these as a basis for a lamp shade or base, or will this always end-up looking like it's made of business cards? Here are my first two ideas:
  1. Perforate them to let light through (our cards are particularly thick), then assemble them into a shade or lantern.
  2. Shred them and then weave them into a fabric, with the openings in the weave allowing the light to come through.
Designers, what do you think?

*Half-baked: If you have your own half-baked idea in need a little more love and nourishment, send it in: workingglassgal (at) gmail (dot) com.

Image from hiddedevries photostream on flickr


  1. If this works out, I envision 2-3 versions:

    1. Career move: Made up of the old cards leftover from promotions, transfers, new jobs, etc.
    2. Pink slip: Made up of the old cards left behind when the layoffs hit.

    I saw a story about how Seattle-area thrift stores have been swamped with Microsoft T-shirts since the last round of layoffs.

  2. I like this idea Katie. Perhaps we could approach this like CB2's Mosaic Recycled Placemats and it could be molded into different shapes...or more ironically molded into a business card holder.


  3. Ooooooh. I like it. The business card holder angle is brilliant. CB2's Mosaic placemats are here.

  4. Besides my kids using them as scrap paper any idea sounds good


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