“My grandmothers knew how to make something out of nothing. If they needed something, they looked around at what they already had and adapted it. These days, you need something, you don’t even look. You go straight out and buy it.”
Brussels-based Thomas Billas, whose printing press you recently visited, has put together a small selection of Word-exclusive ‘hacks’ for the new format magazine coming out in April (pre-order your copy now). Designer and all-round McGyver impersonator, Thomas makes things out of other things and then makes zines to show the rest of us how it’s done. His zines, called How to make it without IKEA, are tongue-in-cheek how-to guides, simple and elegant designs that instruct ordinary folk how to hack everyday products like plastic bottles, hair pins and egg cartons and turn them into useful tools. Personal favourites include old door handles fashioned into toilet roll holders and a nose-hair clippers made entirely out of well, a pair of scissors. I think you get the idea.
It’s all part of a much larger feature on hacking, or to use its more consumer-friendly manifestation, ‘creative repurposing’ in which writer Veerle Devos has a bash at the ingenuity of today’s hacker spirit and what it all means. To whet your appetite, we asked Thomas for a sneak peek at How to make it without IKEA Volume III. Check out this gallery for a sampling of simple hacks and come back for more on April 8.