The Coolest Uncool: Jo’s Answer (Julia)

As to the questions below….
it’s funny – but i have a real problem with the word ‘cool’ – speaking as a 41 year old, it makes me think of people my age trying to be cool & I’m rather cringey about that. It sounds too try-hard! I confess it’s not really a word/term I use myself
1. cool – i have 2 definitions – firstly a social/cultural generalisation – it’s something that is fashionable, but not to a mass audience – a kind of niche thing for a hip crowd; secondly, a more personal definition – i suppose a cool thing is something that’s neat or handy – that solves a particular problem. I realise as I write that I probably think of objects/gadgets as cool – more so than ideas or music or whatever

2. uncool – well, again there’s the idea of it not being fashionable to a hip crowd – but i think also the idea that a behaviour might be uncool (say, someone being intolerant -& one might say ‘that’s not cool’ to them, or ‘i’m not cool with that’) – which is a bit strange upon reflection given that cool seems to be a thing & uncool an idea! This is curiously contradictory.

3. coolest uncool thing – There is certainly the idea that uncool can often be cool – a kind of geek chic thing, I guess. As a fine art person, I reckon I’ve usually been most interested in ideas that are uncool – i start to worry if something i like is in danger of becoming cool – it’s a bit like it being colonised. (perhaps it’s a bit like the Groucho Marx quote ‘I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.’ )

Coolest uncool thing i own – well I guess it’s all the clutter in my flat – pic attached of one set of shelves. clutter isn’t very ‘design’ or 21st century – but just looking at all these books, and prints and toys and objects makes me very happy indeed.

hope this is of some help/interest – as a terminally uncool person i’m probably not yr demographic!?

PS i like very much the fact that predictive text suggests ‘book’ when people type ‘cool’ on their phones 🙂


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Filed under Big Idea, Interviews, Julia, Primary Research, The Coolest Uncool

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