Join Gary Hustwit for an in-depth discussion in this video Dunne & Raby, part of Objectified.
(engine revs) - We use design as a medium to try and explore ideas, find out things, question. We've got cinema, fine arts, literature, craft. Every other medium seems to have a part that's dedicated to just reflecting on important issues. Yet design, the thing that's responsible for so much of the built environment around us doesn't do that. I think that's one of the things that attracts us. So even though our design ideas are never really put into mass production, we always try to suggest that they could be mass produced or they could be on the scale of hundreds of thousands because that's part of, of what we're interested in, really.
- We love the idea that with a product or shopping, we love, we love showrooms. Cause what is a showroom? You go in there, you know, around Ikea, and you imagine this goes in your home or something, you project yourself into this other space. But you could actually buy that and have it at home. - It's true, when you walk into a gallery, you don't imagine the sculpture at home and how it's going to impact on your life. But you walk into a shop, whether it's electronics or furniture or a car showroom, and you do imagine yourself experiencing this thing and enjoying it.
So when we do conceptual products, we're hoping that people will imagine how that will impact on the way they live their lives. We were part of an exhibition, and Fiona and I decided to focus on robots. There were four of them altogether. One of them, for example, might become the interface for important data you keep online or on remote servers. So it's a strange, wooden shaped object that you pick up and it has two holes in the top and you stare at its eyes for about five minutes and when it's checked it's you, it releases the information.
So it's not just a quick glance, it's a retinal scanner but a meaningful stare into this machine's eyes. And also you feel better, you feel like... - Yes, it gets me and then you access in. - There's no chance it mistook me. And another thing we became interested in was as devices become more clever or more smarter, one of our roles as designers might be to handicap the technology and make it dependent upon us in some way or needy. So we thought it might be interesting to design one that has to call the owner over to it whenever it wants to move.
- We really wanted to look at the kind of materiality of what a robot might be and so one of the key things we wanted to do was when someone saw the robots, we wanted them to go, that's not a robot, as if, you know, that's not even within the robot language. But the minute they ask that question, then they're immediately thinking well, what is a robot, you know, what a robot should be, what kind of identity it might have. - People, especially students, often kind of say that, you know, at the end of lectures, "But you just design things that get shown in museums and galleries, shouldn't you be trying to mass produce?" And because we're more interested in designing to deal with ideas, actually putting things into a museum like MOMA which is, you know, hundreds of thousands of people, more than, I think, if we made a few arty and expensive prototypes.
So I think it depends, I think we're interested in mass communication more than mass production. Industrial design has been so closely tied to industry and working within the constraints set by industry. Very quickly, you come to the edges of the spectrum of choice, the official choice about what kinds of things that the companies, I guess, who produce these products believe people want. And we know people want a lot more interesting things.
But so far, we haven't managed to cross that gap.
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.