Join Gary Hustwit for an in-depth discussion in this video Morning objectives, part of Objectified.
(clock beeping) (shower water flowing) - The goal of industrial design has always been mass production, it's been producing standardized objects for consumption by millions and millions of people. One of the earliest examples would be the first emperor of China. He was waging war to try and colonize more and more parts of what would eventually become China and one of his problems was that each of his archers made their own arrows and so if say an archer died, a fellow archer couldn't grab the arrows from his quiver and start shooting at the enemy because the arrows literally didn't fit his bow, so the first emperor and his advisers came up with a way of standardizing the design of the arrows so that each arrow would fit any bow.
(coffee pitcher setting) (dial turning) (egg cracking) Many of the best examples of industrial design are things that people don't think were designed at all. Take the Post-it note. It's something we take for granted that people don't think of it as being designed and what they don't realize is that from the moment they wake up, almost everything that fills their world has been designed one way or another. (dishes clanking lightly) - There is a story embedded in every object.
Every decision was made at some point about some thing. This particular toothpick is like a Japanese toothpick and but obviously it's manufactured for sale in the US, but what's interesting about it is it's kind of the evolution of a type of object that happens over many many years. But you'll notice that the end of it, the tip of it is serrated so you could break it off; and this is to signify that it was used, but it also creates a tiny rest for the toothpick.
Obviously that Japanese-style toothpick has a specific cultural context where that kind of functionality makes sense and that kind of ritual makes sense. They may not be used that way at all in the United States. But what's fascinating about these little stories that get embedded in objects is that I'm reminded of a quote by Henry Ford who once said: "Every object tells a story "if you know how to read it."
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.