I’ve been waiting for Objectified, Gary Hustwit’s latest documentary about design and our relationship with manufactured objects, for some time now. And now a few copies of the film DVD is finally available to borrow for free from the Calgary Public Library. Of course, you can also buy a copy of the film, rent it form iTune or buy some stuff from Gary’s website if you want to.
Here is a synopsis of Objectified from Amazon,
“Nearly everyone spends their life surrounded by the work of industrial designers, but very few people understand the process by which your furniture, cell phone, or alarm clock came to look and feel the way they do, and how the elements of design interact with our own ideas and assumptions about value and functionality. [...] Filmmaker Gary Hustwit takes viewers on a journey through the elusive world of industrial design and the interaction of people with the objects they’ve brought into their lives in the documentary Objectified, which features interviews with a number of major designers who discuss how products move from the drawing board to the marketplace, and the philosophy behind the look, feel, and function of the things in your home.”
Before I go on to talk more about the documentary, here is a clip of the film to give you a taste of what you will see,
- As a lover of many Apple designed products, Jonathan Ive’s discussion is just great to watch over and over again.
- This reporter was amazed to see the number of apple peelers the designers looked at before they come up with a better one.
- A hackable iRobot vacuum cleaner that showed a hamster driving the iRobot, yes, the hamster’s movement drives the vacuum cleaner. Very cute and funny.
- The toothbrush re-design discussion at IDEO, a world leading global design consultancy firm, is amazingly insightful and not to be missed.
And even the extra bonus interviews on the DVD were very insightful and interesting. One of the interviewee talked about “Design and China”. At the moment, China is the manufacturing plant of the world. But the Chinese government has put in lots of resources to train their graduates. Now, imagine, one day in the not too distant future, China starts designing interesting products with Chinese visual sensibility and understanding of the world. It will be interesting to see what comes out of China.
Finally, in the “extras”, the Dunne & Raby discussion of their “Evidence Dolls” project was fascinating. The idea of the “Evidence Dolls” was to use objects as a tool to ask question. (Warning: Potentially mature content. I will be watching this series of Evidence Dolls Interviews by a number of women. Very touching and deeply soulful.)
And here is a most insightful post screening Q&A at the Walker Art Center where the host is one of the subject interviewed by Gary in the film. Great stuff.