I recently watched Gary Hustwit’s documentary Objectified, which explores the world of industrial design. In the film, Hustwit interviews designers and critics of the manufactured objects with which we surround ourselves and use every day. This film is very interesting and relevant to everyone in the profession of design. Similar to the buildings and spaces architects and interior designers create, objects produced by industrial designers are often taken for granted by those who interact with them daily. Architects, interior designers, and industrial designers all create something concrete out of abstract ideas and we all must incorporate sustainability into our designs.
The biggest challenge to a field that has traditionally served the industrial goal of planned obsolescence, according to the movie, is a growing awareness that the world is being overrun by trash; sooner or later most of today’s well designed products will end up in landfills. There is a need for “sustainability,” for products that will “wear in” rather than “wear out.” But old habits–especially highly profitable ones–die hard.
Stephen Holden, New York Times, 8 May 2009
Objectified is one film in a documentary trilogy by Hustwit. Helvetica, the first film, covered graphic design while Urbanized, the third film, now in production, discusses the design of cities.
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