The E-Waste Apocalypse Looms

What does post-apocalyptic technology look like? Well, that kind of depends on the apocalypse. Regardless of the cause, we’ll need to be clever and resourceful and re-learn ancient crafts like weaving and pottery-making. After all, the only real apocalyptic constants are the needs of the survivors. Humans need clothing and other textiles. Fortunately, weaving doesn’t require electricity—just simple mechanics, patience, and craftsmanship.

If it turns out the apocalypse is scheduled for tomorrow, we’ll have piles and piles of e-waste as fodder for new-old looms. This adorable loom is a mashup of old and new technologies that [Kati Hyyppä] built at an artist residency in Latvia, a country with a rich historical tapestry of textile-making. It combines a cheerful orange telephone with an old cassette player and some telescoping rods from a radio antenna. [Kati] reused the phone’s hang-up switch to trigger tunes from a deconstructed toddler toy every time the receiver is lifted. Check it out after the beep break.

And yeah, you’re right, it does use batteries. But the looming part doesn’t require power, only the music. In case of apocalypse, just scrounge up a solar panel.

If you’d rather be prepared to have to make your own clothes someday, print this loom beforehand.

13 thoughts on “The E-Waste Apocalypse Looms

  1. I’ve always had a love for salvaged and improv technology. Before I moved for work we’d toss junk electronics in boxes and then have contests to see who could build something useful out of it. A junkyard wars with electronics. I wish HaD would include a ‘post apocalyptic’ category for a recycled/up-cycled one. Things get interesting when you can’t just order components and PCBs. Point-to-point wiring and manhattan techniques gets used. A lot of inventiveness is required and it makes things interesting.

  2. Neat system and design and for the first time caught my attention to study how the looms actually operations. Thanks! I never paid attention before. Though interesting materials being used for projects. Also, interesting the recycling projects seen when researching plastic welding, plastics reusing and just randomly online.

    Interesting note also is something that was “revealed” to me lately as a “revelation” regarding the change and misinterpretation for some of the word “apocalypse”. Technically, the Biblical interpretations in modern times by some “dooms day’ers” or “end times” groups isn’t so accurate I guess unless they’re “testing the waters” or whatever the cliche is for what they’re doing.

    Technically, the Greek origin “apo” means “un” and “kaluptein/kalupsis/calypsis” means “cover” or “veil” or “hide” or or “conceal”.

    So the title is also meaning like, the debut (French for those of the not Napoleonic Code Republics) of the e-waste loom.

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