Objectified: Living in an uncomfortable world

The documentary “Objectified” offered an extremely interesting look at a faction of the design world that does not typically come to mind when I think of design: industrial and interaction design. This documentary discussed how products are designed and how people interact with designed objects every day of their lives. Although I had heard of industrial design before watching this film, it offered many perspectives on the subject that I had never considered before. It’s amazing to think that every single product that I interact with on a daily basis, from the tiniest hair clip to the tables and chairs filling my living room, is something that was deliberately designed to offer a certain experience. Most of these objects I don’t think of as designed, but that is exactly what they are. One of the most poignant quotes from the movie for me was when one of the designers was talking about how 78% of the world is uncomfortable. Bad design takes away so much from the experience of our daily lives. We sit in uncomfortable chairs, use poorly designed products and generally just live uncomfortable and impractical lives. It makes me wonder what the world would be like and how our experience would differ if deliberately designing an experience was at the forefront of more producers’ minds.

I think that so many products are often designed a certain way because that’s the way they’ve always been designed. Because the products are “good enough,” there is a lack of need for innovation and therefore these products don’t change. In the movie, a group of designers got together to look at the toothbrush, which is a product that has always remained with a fairly similar design. However, the design of the toothbrush wasn’t necessarily the best design possible. Why do we need to buy a whole new brush every time the bristles wear out? Is the handle necessary? Is the object simply serving its purpose or is it enhancing the users experience? This documentary showed me that if we looked at more everyday products from a design perspective, we would be surprised to find how much room for improvement there is. Watching this film certainly made me look at my own experience with products in a different way, and I think was an excellent look at the world of industrial and interaction design.


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