The Misused

Useful information

Team members
Liang-Jung Chen
United Kingdom
Hardware Repurpose Up-cycle DIY Hack Democratic Design

Short Description

An open-source platform that shares ideas on repurposing daily hardware into helpful homewares.

Detailed Description

The Misused was founded in 2018 by two industrial designers who share the passion for studying hardware in everyday scenarios. The project has been dedicated to inspiring people around the world to re-imagine daily hardware in alternative contexts.

There are two main aims of the project. Firstly, to advocate the understanding of everyday objects, as well as the creative thinking in education. By holding workshops, talks, and exhibitions all over the world, the team demonstrates how creativity can turn ubiquitous hardware into valued items. Secondly, to establish an online archive and to publish a Misused Guide that shares the ideas with everyone.

So far, there are three collections in the project. Following the first study of Taiwanese hardware in 2018, the project went on to study Dutch hardware in 2019. British hardware is the focus of 2020. During the pandemic, a special lockdown DIY edition was launched to encourage people to up-cycle the hardware they have at home.

Project Details

Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?

We believe with the inspiration, people become more observant to the behaviours of the people around them. The exercise also helps them to recognise their own needs more easily. Eventually, to empower them with the confidence to roll up the sleeves to create objects that can solve their everyday problems.

Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?

Hardware is smart, durable, accessible and affordable. By marrying them with other materials and digital fabrication, with a clever twist, they become practical objects of quality that make people’s lives easier.

Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?

The Misused Archive is an online archive of ideas. It is composed of a broad range of repurposed objects made with daily hardware. The archive serves as an idea bank and open-resource platform for everyone.

Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?

Instead of purchasing a new product, The Misused encourages the audience to utilize the hardware and materials they have at hand to meet their daily needs. By doing so, it also invites people to pay closer attention to details in daily life and to re-think about the relationship between objects and we human beings.