I thought “Objectified” was very interesting. I came in expecting it to be a documentary about the process of designing and production, like the actual making of products. It was much more interesting than that.
I fist liked the part that talked about the goal of design being to standardize mass production. This to me seemed foreign because I thought, “no, only handmade original objects are really designed. The rest is just made.” I thought that something produced on a factory line wasn’t designed, and that was just stupid to think that. Everything is designed, really. Cars. Cars are designed to be aesthetically appealing, arrow dynamic, sleek, etc. But they are made on an assembly line. I just proved my original thought wrong. “Objectified” took Apple as and example of standardizing and simplifying a design for easy mass production. A man explained how Apple worked really hard to get what would normally be six pieces that function on their own into one piece that performs all six functions. This makes sense to me as I type on my Mac Air and see how thin and light it is, meaning few parts, but equally as effective and productive. (I love my Mac Air!).
A second topic that was discussed in the film was about the correlation between form and function. For example, a spoon, which was designed many, many years ago, is pretty self explanatory on how it is used. It has a straight end, easy to hold, and a curved end that obviously can hold stuff in it such as liquids. But now we have items like iPhones that look like black glass boxes. I have no idea what it does just by looking at it! Who would think that it is possible to talk to someone across oceans and surf the web on a black brick. This makes me think about children’s toys. When I was young I had a toy phone that looked like a phone. It had a straight part in the middle, meant to be held, with two big square parts that gave somewhat of an indication that one end touches the ear and the other near the mouth. It was not completely inherent, but it was a pretty easily understood design. I now wonder what the toy phones my kids will play with when I have them. Will they be the phones I played with? Probably not because that design will be so obsolete by then that it wouldn’t make sense anymore. Will they be black bricks? Perhaps, but will a child know what to do without demonstration? Maybe it will be a new design all together by then. Who knows.
The last topic that was talked about that I found interesting (and I was actually very glad was mentioned) was sustainability. Because of new products and new designs, people have this constant desire to buy the new cool things and toss their obsolete item. This fills up our landfills and damages our environment in an immense way. One designer interviewee said it himself, “Most of what we do ends up in a landfill somewhere.” This is sad for the designer, but more importantly our environment that is being destroyed. I loved to see designers trying to find eco-friendly and sustainable ways to design new products. The example that was given was a toothbrush handle. The only thing that goes bad and needs to be discarded on a toothbrush is the head where the germs are in the bristles. There is no point for billions of people to throw away inches of plastic multiple times a year when it is perfectly clean and safe to use. So a design team designed a reusable toothbrush handle on which a toothbrush head can be placed and changed. This was a great design in my opinion that can really make a difference in the way we discard and the way we treat our world. But my favorite quote of all came at the end when a designer said, “I would launch a marketing plan to enjoy the things you already own.” This is instead of having to always buy new things and throw away the old.