One of my favourite TV shows was How it’s Made. This show breaks down the process of how everyday products such as trumpet horns, ice-cream and padlocks are made on industrial assembly lines. What made it interesting was that so much procedure and care went into making even the simplest things we take for granted. The show told us the origin stories behind the stuff we use everyday.
Last weekend, I was at Urban Nation, a free art gallery in Berlin that celebrates Berlin’s iconic street-art. As soon as we entered the building a pamphlet told me about how Urban Nation, against all odds, secured funding to house 26 artists in apartments nearby for fixed periods of time to focus exclusively on socially relevant art. The gallery is also filled with the tools that the artists use – spray cans, brushes, face masks, helmets etc. Certain sections have videos of interviews of artists telling us what they believe in and how they work. All of this makes those paintings on the wall come alive for its audience.
A life well lived is one filled with appreciation. We appreciate everything better, even the mundane stuff we use everyday, once we know their origin stories. People care about origin stories – ones that make a product or service better in a world filled with cheaper alternatives.
It is easier than ever to tell our origin stories today.