About Rob Walker

Rob Walker is the author of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, and writes the Consumed column for The New York Times Magazine.

Significant Ads: The Halston Mug

So far in discussing the creations of Art Novak’s advertising students at the Savannah College of Art Design, who devised Significant Ads for select Significant Objects as a scholarly exercise, I’ve highlighted online Flash-based inventions. But many of the students … Continue reading

Ads for Significant Objects

Many observers have drawn comparisons between this project and the commercial persuasion business — after all, aren’t ad pros hired precisely to invent significance for stuff, just as our contributors do? (For some examples, see this comment on BoingBoing (and … Continue reading

Significant fake branding

Here’s yet another twist on adding an invented narrative to a seemingly low-value thingamabob: Designer Matt Brown bought a pack of 15 plastic horses for a couple of bucks. Then he dreamed up a name for each one, then packaging, … Continue reading

Upcycling with words

Significant Objects has many obvious virtues — but is it eco-friendly, too? In the early days of trying to drum up traffic, I brought our project to the attention of several eco-blog types. Why? Because we figured that in converting … Continue reading

Charity effects

Probably you already know this, but it’s not a bad idea to remind everyone that proceeds from Significant Objects v2 will go to 826 National. We recently decided we need to add some kind of running total box to the … Continue reading

S.O. on NPR

All Things Considered hangs out with Josh: Check it out here. And should any NPR listeners find their way here as a result, welcome to the site, there is more about the project here. The Russian Figure + Story By … Continue reading

Unappealing objects

We’ve discussed the intrinsic appeal of some Significant Objects – but what about those objects that lacked such appeal? Things inexplicable, but not in a way that doesn’t necessarily make you want to know more. Sometimes objects like the now-notorious … Continue reading

Average price, week by week

In cleverly devising a way of dealing with the Duration Factor, Josh addressed the potential effect on prices of both increased demand (as more people learned about the project) and dwindling supply (as we ran out of objects). It’s assumed … Continue reading