Join Gary Hustwit for an in-depth discussion in this video Karim Rashid, part of Objectified.
- A huge turning point in my life, I remember, was 1969, because I was watching, for those first nine years, a world that was talking all about the cosmos, about, you know, building spaceships that we would live on, about, you know, moving to outer space. And in fact design and design language was very, very instrumental in a sense of its vernacular, of speaking about that. Hence, we had transparent chairs, we had acrylics and glossy finishes and chrome, all the things that were, in a sense, going on.
You know, radiused walls, and no corners, and all this language, all this, kind of, seamless language was about this notion of living in a really positive future, in a way. Armstrong put his foot on the moon right at that moment, in '69. And I remember that so well, that moment. And 30 basically, you know, 30-some-odd years later, it dawned on me of why the world, that utopic spirit, where everything was gonna be contemporary, we're not gonna live in a post-modern this, post-modern condition of revivalism, constantly, and derivations, et cetera, disappeared.
And it was because we realized, there's nowhere to go but here. You know, it was like, almost, we landed on a dead rock. I studied how many objects we come in contact on a daily basis. And the average was 658, which meant that's, you know, here we are, interacting with 658 objects a day and we never speak about them. There's no real critique on 'em, there's no, very, very little discussion on how these things really, really affect us.
I mean, if you make something just very, very simple, like a chair, or a vase, or a watch, or some, you know, object, in your daily life, can you somehow, this is my interest, to capture this time we live in? You know, can that object speak about this moment in which we live? Because, as far as I know, the 50,000 years of history of humanity, or the 200,000, if you wanna go back to, I dunno, Numeria, is that objects spoke about the time in which we lived.
And those objects spoke about the civility of the time, the religion of the time. So, you know, we would, kind of, unearth or excavate an object, and we'd learn so much about it. I mean, we know about the Ming Dynasty through some vases at the end of the day. It's kind of amazing, this idea. So, my feeling is, OK, it's 2008 now as we talk. If you design an object today, is that object gonna communicate 2008, and touch that time that we live in? And I think that's, kind of, the power, I'd say, again, of commodity.
You know, it's a real, real ambassador, let's say, of the day and age in which we live, every little object in your life. The designer has to collaborate, you know. I can't really design a mobile phone without a mobile phone company, you know, end of story. So, you need to collaborate. And in turn, by collaborating, you also need to, kind of, listen, and embrace, and understand, and engage the culture of the company you work with.
So, a lot of times now, I think designers, and design firms, and brands have to, in a way, know how to join, let's say, their brands. You know, they need to, kind of, come together. So, and, make a really, really good relationship. And, inevitably, if they're made for each other, they will create something or do something that's really, has some real meaning and success.
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.