9999 to 1
At Harry’s we believe that good design depends on working within constraints, but also that the limits of our thinking should never be constrained. That’s why we collaborated with Made Thought to create a series of design fictions that push the boundaries of meaningful permanence and impermanence—and to help push Harry’s in bold new directions. 9999 TO 1 is a reconsideration
Through a radical vision of ecology and materiality, these five product explorations offer a new approach for everyday essentials—the basic consumer goods that line our shelves and fill our drawers, purchased, used, and disposed of out of need in relative unconsciousness. We believe that the best design solves for a product’s entire lifespan, not just its initial sale—and in so doing, we not only began to question just how long our products should live, but how we should live with them.
With 9999 TO 1, we imagine a future where we keep what we are accustomed to throwing away. And where what we throw away returns to the earth in a seamless cycle. Arranged on a scale from the utility and beauty of permanence to the affordability and disposability of impermanence, 9999 TO 1 launches a new narrative for design.
Soluble Paper Cellulose
The Impossible Razor: Precious Precision
What makes an object personal? What imbues an design with sentimentality? When does an heirloom become worthy of being an heirloom? Untethered from the limitations imposed by consumer surveys and supply chains, we dreamed of a razor that would not only outlast the month, but entire lifetimes. The handle and blade of The Impossible Razor are carved from a single, lab-grown white sapphire. A primitive hand tool made possible through the sophistication of modern molecular science, it will neither blunt nor fall out of fashion. In doing so, the Impossible Razor brings new qualities to heirloom quality.
The Make Your Mark Toothbrush: Personalized Touch
Few objects are as singularly personal as a toothbrush, but rarely has the toothbrush been conceived from the point of view of personalization. Making this possible is one of the most versatile and useful materials available to humankind with a history of use that dates back at least 20,000 years: clay. Kaolinite, a widely available clay known for its soft consistency and earthy texture, has applications ranging from porcelain to paper coating, and is commonly found in products like toothpaste, cosmetics, and facial masks. Utilizing locally-sourced kaolin clay and removable natural fiber bristles, the Make Your Mark Toothbrush becomes uniquely yours over time as the clay handle conforms to the contours of your grip.
The Protective Aeroglasses: Solid Air
If the Protective Aeroglasses feel as light as air, it’s because in fact they are in fact 98.8% air. The almost magical properties of aerogel render that remaining 1.2% as structurally sound as most typical solids. The result is a pair of glasses that you’re likely to forget you have on, an ideal quality for protective eyewear. Outside of industrial and laboratory environments, protective eyewear is rarely seen as a necessity, but that will change as atmospheric and environmental conditions evolve. The Protective Aeroglasses efficiently block UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or artificial indoor sources, and protect the ocular surface as an infection gateway.
The Oceanic Dopp Bag: Natural Matter
What if “carry in, carry out” didn’t just apply to camping, but to the products we carry as well? Created from a kelp polymer that efficiently biodegrades after use, the Oceanic Dopp Bag not only holds your grooming essentials in its seamless spring pockets, but provides a natural model for circularity as a core principle in design. Today, almost 80% of the world’s plastic ends up in landfills and oceans, while only a small fraction is recycled into new products. With advances in eco-friendly bioplastics, just 0.03% of the brown seaweed in the world could replace all the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles used every year. That kind of change would be nothing short of oceanic.
The No-trace Face Shield: Impactful Impermanence
The No-Trace Face Shield is a mask with nothing to hide. Not only does its nano cellulose, semi-transparent material allow the wearer’s facial expressions to show through, but it also simply dissolves in water after use. As urban areas become more densely populated and the potential for common and novel diseases to spread widely and quickly grows with each year, face masks will remain a critical public health tool and everyday essential of modern life. But as the No-Trace Face Shield proves, single-use products needn’t be a burden—for you, or the environment.