We love extraordinary vending machines, so we couldn’t resist featuring this New York-born Swap-o-Matic. The Swap-o-Matic is a vending machine that allows users to donate and receive items, instantly and for free. Why? Because re-using and recycling can be just as fun as buying something new. And, of course, because swapping is contageous and using is the new owning! The machine’s creators Lina Fenequito, Rick Cassidy and Ray Mancini explain Swap-o-Matic’s basic principles:
“Though each item in the machine (donated by another user) will not cost the recipient any money, it will require ‘credits’. A credit is earned when the user donates to the system, and a credit is required to retrieve an item from the machine. New users receive 3 credits to start. Users can donate, recieve, or swap using the touch screen interface on the front of the machine. Other features, such as a user flag system, have been developed and implemented to prevent misuse or stalemate of the system.”
The designers hope their recycling and swapping machine to stimulate users to rethink their spending patterns, view consumption with a different perspective, and explore issues of material posessions. The project is not only a critique on consumerism, but also hopes to provide an inspiring and easy-to-use alternative. The Swap-o-Matic is currently located at LaunchPad in Brooklyn, so be sure to check it out if you’re in the neighborhood. Do you like? Become a Swap-o-Matic fan on Facebook.