Do it yourself

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Boy building a model airplane, Texas, 1942 (photograph by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration) Arthur Rothstein, Boy building a model airplane as girl watches, FSA camp, Robstown, Texas, 1942.jpg
Boy building a model airplane, Texas, 1942 (photograph by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration)

"Do it yourself" ("DIY") is the method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. Academic research describes DIY as behaviors where "individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment (e.g., landscaping)". [1] DIY behavior can be triggered by various motivations previously categorized as marketplace motivations (economic benefits, lack of product availability, lack of product quality, need for customization), and identity enhancement (craftsmanship, empowerment, community seeking, uniqueness). [2]

A market economy is an economic system in which the decisions regarding investment, production and distribution are guided by the price signals created by the forces of supply and demand. The major characteristic of a market economy is the existence of factor markets that play a dominant role in the allocation of capital and the factors of production.

Identity is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and/or expressions that make a person (self-identity) or group, in psychology. Categorizing identity can be positive or destructive.

Contents

The term "do-it-yourself" has been associated with consumers since at least 1912 primarily in the domain of home improvement and maintenance activities. [3] The phrase "do it yourself" had come into common usage (in standard English) by the 1950s, [4] in reference to the emergence of a trend of people undertaking home improvement and various other small craft and construction projects as both a creative-recreational and cost-saving activity.

The concept of home improvement, home renovation, or remodeling is the process of renovating or making additions to one's home. Home improvement can consist of projects that upgrade an existing home interior, exterior, or other improvements to the property.

Subsequently, the term DIY has taken on a broader meaning that covers a wide range of skill sets. DIY is associated with the international alternative rock, punk rock, and indie rock music scenes, indymedia networks, pirate radio stations, and the zine community. In this context, DIY is related to the Arts and Crafts movement, in that it offers an alternative to modern consumer culture's emphasis on relying on others to satisfy needs. It has also become prevalent in the personal finance. When investing in the stock one can utilize a professional advisor or partake in do-it-yourself investing.

Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1980s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, that is seen to be descended from punk rock. Although the genre evolved in the late 1970s and 1980s, music anticipating the sound of the genre can be found as early as the 1960s, with bands such as The Velvet Underground and artists such as Syd Barrett.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.

Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock. As grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream in the 1990s, it came to be used to identify those acts that retained an outsider and underground perspective. In the 2000s, as a result of changes in the music industry and the growing importance of the Internet, some indie rock acts began to enjoy commercial success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.

History

Italian archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a 6th-century BC Greek structure in southern Italy that came with detailed assembly instructions and is being called an "ancient IKEA building". The structure was a temple-like building discovered at Torre Satriano, near the southern city of Potenza, in Basilicata, a region where local people mingled with Greeks who settled along the southern coast known as Magna Graecia and in Sicily from the 8th century BC onwards. Professor Christopher Smith, director of the British School at Rome, said that the discovery was "the clearest example yet found of mason's marks of the time. It looks as if someone was instructing others how to mass-produce components and put them together in this way". Much like the instruction booklets, various sections of the luxury building were inscribed with coded symbols showing how the pieces slotted together. The characteristics of these inscriptions indicate they date back to around the 6th century BC, which tallies with the architectural evidence suggested by the decoration. The building was built by Greek artisans coming from the Spartan colony of Taranto in Apulia. [5] [6] [7]

Ancient Greece Civilization belonging to an early period of Greek history

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

IKEA Trademark used for retail of furniture, appliances, and home furnishings

IKEA is a Swedish-founded multinational group that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchen appliances and home accessories, among other useful goods and occasionally home services. It has been the world's largest furniture retailer since at least 2008. It was founded in Sweden in 1943 by 17-year-old carpenter Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed by Forbes in 2015 as one of the ten richest people in the world, worth more than $40 billion. The company's name is an acronym that consists of Kamprad's initials with those of Elmtaryd, and Agunnaryd.

Tito, Basilicata Comune in Basilicata, Italy

Tito is a town and comune in the province of Potenza, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata. It is bounded by the comuni of Abriola, Picerno, Pignola, Potenza, Sant'Angelo Le Fratte, Sasso di Castalda, Satriano di Lucania, Savoia di Lucania.

In North America, there was a DIY magazine publishing niche in the first half of the twentieth century. Magazines such as Popular Mechanics (founded in 1902) and Mechanix Illustrated (founded in 1928) offered a way for readers to keep current on useful practical skills, techniques, tools, and materials. As many readers lived in rural or semi-rural regions, initially much of the material related to their needs on the farm or in a small town.

<i>Popular Mechanics</i> magazine

Popular Mechanics is a magazine of popular science and technology, featuring automotive, home, outdoor, electronics, science, do-it-yourself, and technology topics. Military topics, aviation and transportation of all types, space, tools and gadgets are commonly featured.

<i>Mechanix Illustrated</i>

Mechanix Illustrated was an American printed magazine that was originally published by Fawcett Publications and its title was founded in 1928 to compete against the older Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. Billed as "The How-To-Do Magazine," Mechanix Illustrated (MI) aimed to guide readers through various projects from home improvements and advice on repairs to "build-your-own ." It was headquartered in New York City.

Home improvement

Shelves attached to a toy vehicle Movable shelves built on discarded toy vehicle.jpg
Shelves attached to a toy vehicle

The DIY movement is a re-introduction (often to urban and suburban dwellers) of the old pattern of personal involvement and use of skills in the upkeep of a house or apartment, making clothes; maintenance of cars, computers, websites; or any material aspect of living. The philosopher Alan Watts (from the "Houseboat Summit" panel discussion in a 1967 edition of the San Francisco Oracle ) reflected a growing sentiment:

Alan Watts British philosopher, writer and speaker

Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher who interpreted and popularised Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.

<i>San Francisco Oracle</i> underground newspaper

The Oracle of the City of San Francisco, also known as the San Francisco Oracle, was an underground newspaper published in 12 issues from September 20, 1966, to February 1968 in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of that city. Allen Cohen (1940–2004), the editor during the paper's most vibrant period, and Michael Bowen, the art director, were among the founders of the publication. The Oracle was an early member of the Underground Press Syndicate.

Our educational system, in its entirety, does nothing to give us any kind of material competence. In other words, we don't learn how to cook, how to make clothes, how to build houses, how to make love, or to do any of the absolutely fundamental things of life. The whole education that we get for our children in school is entirely in terms of abstractions. It trains you to be an insurance salesman or a bureaucrat, or some kind of cerebral character. [8]

In the 1970s, DIY spread through the North American population of college- and recent-college-graduate age groups. In part, this movement involved the renovation of affordable, rundown older homes. But it also related to various projects expressing the social and environmental vision of the 1960s and early 1970s. The young visionary Stewart Brand, working with friends and family, and initially using the most basic of typesetting and page-layout tools, published the first edition of The Whole Earth Catalog (subtitled Access to Tools) in late 1968.

Fiberglass dome house, California, in style of the Whole Earth Catalog building techniques California-dome-house.jpg
Fiberglass dome house, California, in style of the Whole Earth Catalog building techniques

The first Catalog, and its successors, used a broad definition of the term "tools". There were informational tools, such as books (often technical in nature), professional journals, courses, classes, and the like. There were specialized, designed items, such as carpenters' and masons' tools, garden tools, welding equipment, chainsaws, fiberglass materials and so on — even early personal computers. The designer J. Baldwin acted as editor to include such items, writing many of the reviews. The Catalog's publication both emerged from and spurred the great wave of experimentalism, convention-breaking, and do-it-yourself attitude of the late 1960s. Often copied, the Catalog appealed to a wide cross-section of people in North America and had a broad influence.

DIY home improvement books burgeoned in the 1970s, first created as collections of magazine articles. An early, extensive line of DIY how-to books was created by Sunset Books, based upon previously published articles from their magazine, Sunset , based in California. Time-Life, Better Homes and Gardens, Balcony Garden Web and other publishers soon followed suit.

Electronics World 1959, home assembled amplifier Electronics World Sep 1959.jpg
Electronics World 1959, home assembled amplifier

In the mid-1990s, DIY home-improvement content began to find its way onto the World Wide Web. HouseNet was the earliest bulletin-board style site where users could share information. HomeTips.com, established in early 1995, was among the first Web-based sites to deliver free extensive DIY home-improvement content created by expert authors.[ citation needed ] Since the late 1990s, DIY has exploded on the Web through thousands of sites.

In the 1970s, when home video (VCRs) came along, DIY instructors quickly grasped its potential for demonstrating processes by audio-visual means. In 1979, the PBS television series This Old House , starring Bob Vila, premiered and this spurred a DIY television revolution. The show was immensely popular, educating people on how to improve their living conditions (and the value of their house) without the expense of paying someone else to do (as much of) the work. In 1994, the HGTV Network cable television channel was launched in the United States and Canada, followed in 1999 by the DIY Network cable television channel. Both were launched to appeal to the growing percentage of North Americans interested in DIY topics, from home improvement to knitting. Such channels have multiple shows showing how to stretch one's budget to achieve professional-looking results ( Design Cents , Design on a Dime , etc.) while doing the work yourself. Toolbelt Diva specifically caters to female DIYers.

Beyond magazines and television, the scope of home improvement DIY continues to grow online where most mainstream media outlets now have extensive DIY-focused informational websites such as This Old House , Martha Stewart, Hometalk, and the DIY Network. These are often extensions of their magazine or television brand. The growth of independent online DIY resources is also spiking. [9] The number of homeowners who blog about their experiences continues to grow, along with DIY websites from smaller organizations.

Fashion

Mennonite farmer's wife dressmaking (1942) Mennonite Women Dressmaking Pennsylvania 1942.jpg
Mennonite farmer's wife dressmaking (1942)

DIY amongst the fashion community is popular, with ideas being shared on social media such as YouTube about clothing, jewellery, makeup and hair styles. Techniques include distressing jeans, bleaching jeans, redesigning an old shirt, and studding denim.

The concept of DIY has also emerged within the art and design community. The terms, Hacktivist, Craftivist, or maker have been used to describe creatives working within a DIY framework (Busch). Otto von Busch describes Hacktivism' as "[including] the participant in the process of making, [to give] rise to new attitudes within the ‘maker’ or collaborator” (Busch 49) [10] . Busch suggests that by engaging in participatory forms of fashion, consumers are able step away from the idea of "mass-homogenized “Mc-Fashion” (Lee 2003)"., as fashion Hacktivism allows consumers to play a more active role in engaging with the clothes they wear (Busch 32).

Subculture

The terms "DIY" and "do-it-yourself" are also used to describe:

Zines, London Zines-fromlondonsymp07.jpg
Zines, London
Drink mixing robot NYCR Barbot.jpg
Drink mixing robot

DIY as a subculture could be said to have begun with the punk movement of the 1970s. [13] Instead of traditional means of bands reaching their audiences through large music labels, bands began recording, manufacturing albums and merchandise, booking their own tours, and creating opportunities for smaller bands to get wider recognition and gain cult status through repetitive low-cost DIY touring. The burgeoning zine movement took up coverage of and promotion of the underground punk scenes, and significantly altered the way fans interacted with musicians. Zines quickly branched off from being hand-made music magazines to become more personal; they quickly became one of the youth culture's gateways to DIY culture. This led to tutorial zines showing others how to make their own shirts, posters, zines, books, food, etc.

See also

Related Research Articles

Punk subculture Anti-establishment culture

The punk subculture includes a diverse array of ideologies, fashion, and other forms of expression, visual art, dance, literature and film. It is largely characterised by anti-establishment views and the promotion of individual freedom, and is centred on a loud, aggressive genre of rock music called punk rock. Its adherents are referred to as "punks".

Zine a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier

A zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Zines are the product of either a single person or of a very small group, and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation. A fanzine is a non-professional and non-official publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and popularized within science fiction fandom, entering the Oxford English Dictionary in 1949.

Anarcho-punk is punk rock that promotes anarchism. The term "anarcho-punk" is sometimes applied exclusively to bands that were part of the original anarcho-punk movement in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Some use the term more broadly to refer to any punk music with anarchist lyrical content, which may figure in crust punk, hardcore punk, folk punk, and other styles.

Punk fashion Fashion of punk subculture

Punk fashion is the clothing, hairstyles, cosmetics, jewellery, and body modifications of the punk subculture. Punk fashion varies widely, ranging from Vivienne Westwood designs to styles modeled on bands like The Exploited to the dressed-down look of North American hardcore. The distinct social dress of other subcultures and art movements, including glam rock, skinheads, rude boys, greasers, and mods have influenced punk fashion. Punk fashion has likewise influenced the styles of these groups, as well as those of popular culture. Many punks use clothing as a way of making a statement.

T-shirt piece of clothing with short sleeves, a round or V-shaped neckline, without collars, pockets or buttons

A T-shirt is a style of fabric shirt named after the T shape of its body and sleeves. Traditionally it has short sleeves and a round neckline, known as a crew neck, which lacks a collar. T-shirts are generally made of a stretchy, light and inexpensive fabric and are easy to clean.

DIY ethic Self-sufficiency through completing tasks without the aid of a paid expert

DIY ethic is the ethic of self-sufficiency through completing tasks without the aid of a paid expert. The "do it yourself" (DIY) ethic promotes the idea that anyone is capable of performing a variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists.

Hardware store a store that sell household hardware for home improvement

Hardware stores, sometimes known as DIY stores, sell household hardware for home improvement including: fasteners, building materials, hand tools, power tools, keys, locks, hinges, chains, plumbing supplies, electrical supplies, cleaning products, housewares, tools, utensils, paint, and lawn and garden products directly to consumers for use at home or for business. Many hardware stores have specialty departments unique to its region or its owner's interests. These departments include hunting and fishing supplies, plants and nursery products, marine and boating supplies, pet food and supplies, farm and ranch supplies including animal feed, swimming pool chemicals, homebrewing supplies and canning supplies. The five largest hardware retailers in the world are The Home Depot, Lowe's, Kingfisher of the United Kingdom, Obi of Germany, and Leroy Merlin of France.

DIY Network American television channel

DIY Network is an American pay television network owned by Discovery, Inc. The network is a spin-off of HGTV; while it originally focused on instructional programming related to "do it yourself" activities, DIY Network has since focused on personality-based, documentary-style reality series related to home repair and renovation.

Kent McClard is a record label owner and zine publisher from Goleta, California. His work has been a prominent and influential presence in the DIY hardcore and punk scenes.

Grinders are people who apply the hacker ethic to improve their own bodies with do it yourself cybernetic devices or introducing Biochemicals into the body to enhance or change their bodies' functionality. Many grinders identify with the biopunk movement, open-source transhumanism, and techno-progressivism. The Grinder movement is strongly associated with the body modification movement and practices actual implantation of cybernetic devices in organic bodies as a method of working towards transhumanism, such as designing and installing do-it-yourself body-enhancements such as magnetic implants. Biohacking emerged in a growing trend of non-institutional science and technology development.

DIY stands for Do It Yourself.

Fashion design Art of applying design and aesthetics to clothing and accessories

Fashion design is the art of applying design, aesthetics and natural beauty to clothing and its accessories. It is influenced by cultural and social attitudes, and has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories such as bracelets and necklaces. Because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, designers must at times anticipate changes to consumer tastes.

ReadyMade was a California, United States, bimonthly magazine which focused on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects involving interior design, making furniture, home improvement, sewing, metalworking, woodworking and other disciplines. It also focused on sustainable design, independent music and DIY culture. The magazine was marketed to people who enjoy creating unique items to have at home and wear and featured projects which could often be completed with everyday materials, such as household items.

<i>The Family Handyman</i> Magazine

The Family Handyman is an American home-improvement magazine, owned by Trusted Media Brands, Inc.

Maker culture community interested in do-it-yourself technical pursuits

The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture that intersects with hacker culture and revels in the creation of new devices as well as tinkering with existing ones. The maker culture in general supports open-source hardware. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of Computer Numeric Control tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and, mainly, its predecessor, the traditional Arts and arts & crafts. The subculture stresses a cut-and-paste approach to standardized hobbyist technologies, and encourages cookbook re-use of designs published on websites and maker-oriented publications. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them to reference designs. There is also growing work on equity and the maker culture.

Riot grrrl is an underground feminist punk movement that began in the early 1990s in Washington state and the greater Pacific Northwest. It also had origins in Washington, D.C., and spread to at least 26 countries. It is a subcultural movement that combines feminist consciousness and punk style and politics. It is often associated with third-wave feminism, which is sometimes seen as having grown out of the Riot Grrrl movement. It has also been described as a musical genre that came out of indie rock, with the punk scene serving as an inspiration for a musical movement in which women could express themselves in the same way men had been doing for the past several years.

Critical making

Critical making refers to the hands-on productive activities that link digital technologies to society. It was invented to bridge the gap between creative physical and conceptual exploration. The purpose of critical making resides in the learning extracted from the process of making rather than the experience derived from the finished output. The term "critical making" was popularized by Matt Ratto, an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Ratto describes one of the main goals of critical making as way "to use material forms of engagement with technologies to supplement and extend critical reflection and, in doing so, to reconnect our lived experiences with technologies to social and conceptual critique." "Critical making", as defined by practitioners like Matt Ratto and Stephen Hockema, "is an elision of two typically disconnected modes of engagement in the world — "critical thinking," often considered as abstract, explicit, linguistically based, internal and cognitively individualistic; and "making," typically understood as tacit, embodied, external, and community-oriented."

Amy Devers is an American furniture designer, carpenter, television personality and design blogger. She currently is the host and design expert on A&E's Fix This Yard, the host of Victory Garden’s edibleFEAST on PBS, and a design and carpentry expert on OWN’s Home Made Simple.

April Wilkerson is an American YouTuber who specializes in Do-it-yourself woodworking and metalworking projects around the home.

References

  1. Wolf & McQuitty (2011). Understanding the Do-It-Yourself Consumer: DIY Motivation and Outcomes. Academy of Marketing Science Review
  2. Wolf & McQuitty (2011)
  3. Gelber (1997). Do-It-Yourself: Construction, Repairing and Maintaining Domestic Masculinity. American Quarterly. doi:10.1353/aq.1997.0007
  4. McKellar, S.; Sparke, P. (eds.). Interior Design and Identity.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  5. Newsletter of the Hellenic Society of Archaeometry, N.110, May 2010, p.84
  6. Ancient Building Came With DIY Instructions, Discovery News, Mon Apr 26, 2010
  7. Ancient Building Comes with Assembly Instructions, (photos), Discovery News
  8. Watts, Alan et al. "Houseboat Summit" in The San Francisco Oracle, issue #7. San Francisco.
  9. Wall Street Journal, September 2007
  10. von Busch, O. Fashion-able, Hacktivism and engaged Fashion Design, PhD Thesis,School of Design and Crafts (HDK), Gothenburg. 2008, https://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/17941/3/gupea_2077_17941_3.pdf.
  11. "DIY guide to screen printing t-shirts for cheap" . Retrieved 24 September 2007. Ever wonder where bands get their T-shirts made? Some of them probably go to the local screen printers and pay a bunch of money to have their shirts made up, then they have to turn around and sell them to you for a high price. Others go the smart route, and do it themselves. Here's a quick how-to on the cheap way to going about making T-shirts.Cite web requires |website= (help)
  12. Pearce, Joshua M. 2012. “Building Research Equipment with Free, Open-Source Hardware.Science337 (6100): 1303–1304.open access
  13. Triggs, Teal (March 2006). "Triggs, Teal (2006) Scissors and Glue: Punk Fanzines and the Creation of a DIY Aesthetic, in "Journal of Design History", vo. 19, n. 1, pp. 69-83". Journal of Design History. 19 (1): 69–83. doi:10.1093/jdh/epk006. Yet, it remains within the subculture of punk music where the homemade, A4, stapled and photocopied fanzines of the late 1970s fostered the "do-it-yourself" (DIY) production techniques of cut-n-paste letterforms, photocopied and collaged images, hand-scrawled and typewritten texts, to create a recognizable graphic design aesthetic.