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Why Aren't Our Gadgets Still Covered In Wood?


Stashed in: Plants!, Obsolescence

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"Looking over a piece of wood, there’s just so much you need to be able to discern to work with it," agrees John Tolman, the founder of Monolith, an Austin-based producer of wood veneers and back plates for iPhones. "It takes a lot of judgment to look at a piece of wood and know if it will warp, or splinter, or pop off. It expands and it contracts and it splits. You can’t just nail it down to specific engineering specs, like you can with a piece of plastic. It’s art."

Which is why, as an engineering material used by an electronics industry ruled by global economies of scale, wood has been left behind.

Wood is natural. Naturally unpredictable.

Would is not wood.

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