Further Benefit of a Kind of Inconvienience System Labratory

Understanding Bol!

What's Bol?

We’re not about the Cost of Convenience, but the Benefit of Inconvenience. Have you ever experienced gaining something from inconvenience?

Let us define convenient as not requiring effort or thought. Then we will discover that there are many things where inconvenience is actually helpful or even necessary.

Benefit of Inconvenience

  • If we argued that having to walk up to the top of Mt. Fuji is inconvenient, and constructed an elevator to the summit, what happens? This won’t be just unnecessary but also actively undermines the point of mountain-climbing.
  • What if we decided that having to painstakingly practice baseball to become able to generate hits was inconvenient and created a bat that automatically hits for you? We can see this is the same as above.
  • Back when I was a child, for school trips we were only allowed to bring snacks worth at most 300 yen (approx. 3 dollars) in total. What if we were allowed to bring unlimited supplies of snacks? Looking back, I have happy memories of spending half a day before the trip in the supermarket coming up with my own combination of snacks.
  • In a period when jobs were scarce, there was someone who was very successful at finding them. Their trick was to cancel their daily subscription of newspapers. They succeeded by opting out of the convenient system of automatic delivery/payment and instead opted to go to a shop every morning and buy the paper by cash.

We call such phenomena Benefit of Inconvenience (BoI) (In the picture above, we see that we can sharpen a pencil into a drill-shape by using a knife (more inconvenient than a sharpener))

BoI designs

  • We are neither warning against ‘costs associated with living in an overly artificial environment,
  • nor are we a civil movement calling for ‘a return to the olden days’
  • nor are we working based off simple nostalgia-

we are researching for new guiding principles for system designs, utilising Benefit of Inconvenience.

(Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research 18656114, for Scientific Research(B) 2136019)

BoI design exemplars

The pressure to increase convenience must not rob people of their lives or their growth.

  • The idea of intentionally hiding small physical barriers in people’s daily lives to maintain their fitness and day-care centres which adopted this idea.
  • It is not up to the road to guarantee safety. Roads without lanes, signs or signals, leaving the drivers to make their own road safety decisions (Shared space)
  • Opposing the trend of automating wheelchairs, a brand of wheelchairs focused on self-propulsion (Cogy)

Exemplary designs are beginning to be proposed around the world.