Base: The Joys of (Re)Appropriation

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By: Admin | July 20, 2009

BECAUSE MARIJUANA is illegal, smokers currently tend to appropriate the packaging of readily available, mass-produced products: Altoids tins, film canisters, hollowed-out pens. As these packages have been co-opted by marijuana smokers, we thought, “Why should we impose a new package?” There’s a whole ritual and tactile experience that goes with smoking, and we didn’t want to detract from that. We were also drawn to the idea of using spent objects rather than creating new packaging that would then be discarded. Marijuana should be “green,” after all.

Another thing we wanted to show was how different smokers have come to use different packages to fit the way they smoke. The eyeglasses case could carry a pipe or other paraphernalia; the film canister works for loose doobies and roaches. It’s completely personal, not just in terms of your method of smoking, but also which package feels right to you in your hand, in your pocket. We worked on this project with our offices in Europe, where joints tend to be mixed with tobacco and are more conical in shape, different from the usually submarine-shaped, grass-only joints in the U.S. We wanted to account for some degree of personalization.

APPROACH: We transformed these everyday items into new objects. The white color frees them from their original contexts in the most neutral way and forces you to re-evaluate the packages solely based on form. Any other color would have distracted from that goal.

NAME: The name is merely to indicate the contents. Marijuana should not be branded. Nobody owns marijuana.