Join Gary Hustwit for an in-depth discussion in this video Andrew Blauvelt, part of Objectified.
- Somebody asked me, "Well, what isn't design?" And I was kind of stumped because when you think about it, the human built environment is a designed world. Sometimes we know who these designers are, sometimes we don't. But anything that's touched by man is transformed by man, is by its very nature, design. I think the automobile, in America at least, is the quintessential status object.
It's kind of like people and their dogs, you know, what kind of automobile should you be owning, but the thing I find most fascinating isn't really the shifts in car design, over the last few decades, and there's obviously different debates from different car owners about which direction the design's going. But it actually was the introduction of the flip key. Of course, you had all the electronic functions, right, for the alarm and for the unlocking the vehicle, that could all be embodied in this small object.
But this is the part of the car that's always with you. It does provide a kind of direct connection between the customer, the owner, actually, the vehicle and the vehicle itself. I think this little piece of design is actually one of the biggest revolutions within car design in the last 10 years at least. Design has always had this problem though, of how do you control objects.
Everyone has the classic experience, I think, of the old VCR. Classically, interaction and product design has really met the control of objects I think, and you know, if humans trying to control the outcome. So by pressing a button for an example, a certain function will happen, and this is the kind of command control mentality that came out originally of engineering, cybernetics, fields like that, to create a kind of rationalization around what the expectation would be with the humans interacting with machines, and the ultimate predictability.
You punch the button, and you get the end result. With digital technology, it created other interesting complications, because sometimes the functions weren't so exactly related, in other words, the mechanical connections pre-supposed, or established some sort of expectations on the part of I push this button, I get this result. It's not a one to one relationship in digital technology. At least it doesn't have to be. And so, that's where you have the development of screen interfaces for example, and the use of metaphors, that one function, one button for example, could have multiple functions.
And so it's a much more complicated set of relationships.
Objectified is a documentary about industrial design; it's about the manufactured objects we surround ourselves with, and the people who make them. Gary Hustwit, the director of Helvetica, talks with Dieter Rams, Marc Newson, Jonathan Ive, and other renowned designers behind some of the world's most iconic products. lynda.com is proud to offer this film to our members, along with over one hour of online-exclusive bonus movies.