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“We designers have been working to stimulate people’s souls and minds.” —Naoto Fukasawa, designer
Look around you. Within five feet of you are dozens—if not hundreds—of manufactured products that you interact with every day. If you are at work, perhaps there is a laptop, a stapler, a No. 2 pencil, a paperclip, a mobile phone, a coffee mug, a pushpin or an ergonomic chair. At home there may be a flat-screen TV, a pair of boots, a razor or a kitchen utensil. All told, we each touch or otherwise interact with an average of 600 manufactured objects every day.
We rarely consider where the objects that populate our lives were made or who dreamed them up in the first place. Yet our relationship with the manmade objects around us is complex, sometimes conflicted and often profound.
OBJECTIFIED, by filmmaker Gary Hustwit, is the second installment in his trilogy on design (his first was Helvetica). OBJECTIFIED encourages us to stop and notice our surroundings and to think critically about creativity and consumption. Who makes all these objects, and why do they look and feel the way they do? How can good design make these things—and by extension our lives—better? What about the environment and the social and environmental costs associated with global manufacturing and planned obsolescence?
Featuring interviews with some of the world’s preeminent industrial and product designers, OBJECTIFIED is an exploration of the process at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who reexamine, reevaluate and reinvent our manufactured environment daily. It is about personal expression, identity, consumerism and sustainability. What can we learn about who we are and who we want to be from the objects with which we surround ourselves?
Related Links and Resources
OBJECTIFIED Filmmaker Web site
The Industrial Design Society of America
The National Design Museum
The Curated Object
The Design Dictionary
PBS: Independent Lens: HELVETICA
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