A new website called Thngs bills itself as a Noah’s ark for the physical world. By collecting images and details about everything humans have made–from a 40,000-year-old stone axe to the latest smartphone–it aims to create a constantly growing collection of objects.
As the designers write:
We are surrounded by things. Each thing is a source of objective information about our past, present, and even future. They are the physical memory of humankind. But things break, get damaged, and disappear over time. The physical preservation of all things is not possible, but we can preserve information about them.
One of the site’s first collections includes 63 digitized Soviet-era space objects–the Sputnik 1, rocket engines, a space flight suit for a dog, and tools that astronauts used.
The objects on are exhibit at the Russian Polytechnic Museum now, and the website wants to make the show accessible to those who can’t make it to Moscow. “We build bridges between cultures, so, for example, space guys from California can learn how the Soviet space era began, without leaving their room,” says Dima Dewinn, cofounder and CEO of Thngs.
They plan to repeat the process with museums around the world. They also plan to let brands and designers create detailed catalogs of new products. “Think of it as a personalised museum combined with the shop that was well crafted according to your personal tastes,” Dewinn says.
Like Wikipedia, anyone will be able to add and edit pages. “We want Thngs to have a touch of curated encyclopedia with all objects that humanity produced,” he says.