Mar 262008
 
Authors: Griffin Faust

Purpose: Categorically a “lifestyle” publication, this unique bi-monthly aims to inspire the crafty side in everyone. It offers tips on decorative design from an ecologically sustainable angle. ReadyMade publishes a dozen or more useful and practical ways to design your everyday life to be more green-friendly.

Audience: ReadyMade is largely targeted toward artisans with sensible recycling practice. The other big theme here is the do-it-yourself (DIY) ethic that’s popular and frugally practical. Although I’m not good with my hands, I really enjoyed the material anyway – the home improvement suggestions are cool in a wacky-retro way and the basic instructions on how to assemble the projects are easy to follow. ReadyMade readers all share a desire to adopt a “‘reduce-reuse-recycle” responsibility, but knowledge of craftsmanship and tools may range low to advanced.

Kudos: I was really hooked from the start, because every page had something creative or incredible to offer. Some is food-for-thought, like the historical timeline of curbside recycling, which apparently began in China over 2,000 years ago. Feature articles are worthwhile, too, because of the coherency and overall premise of being resourceful without spending much money. My favorites were the blurb about Wet Shaving (tips on how to save moolah and the planet when shaving stubble) and the feature article “Cabin Fever.” The latter describes nine architectural ventures by micro-homeowners, a rising trend.

A big bonus about this magazine is the fact that no article is more than about 800 words, making the pace matter-of-fact but not breakneck. It’s like the editors are aware Americans have short attention spans and catered to the deficiency – go ReadyMade.

Draw Backs: Centrally focused on providing instructions on DIY projects that could improve a home decoratively is good and all, but all the finished projects look like they came from IKEA. The convertible desk, the deep-sea LEDs and especially the 21st century seating panel all look trendy in the “new vintage” way. Not a lot of variety on style.

Bottom Line: Hands down one of the most unique rags around. It incorporates so many rising trends it’s difficult not to find something that fits your lifestyle. ReadyMade is ahead of the curve on environmental advice, craftsmanship and zany design, and it’s all in brevity. I highly recommend it if you’re remotely interested in any of its attitudes or talents.

Staff writer Griffin Faust can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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