05 May 2009


Went to see this documentary last night, by the same guy who made Helvetica

It was fantastic, needless to say, and of course prompted a few sundry thoughts on objects, people, and grace.

This idea that what designers have been ignoring for so long when creating goods is the art of dying gracefully, so to speak. We create all these new things to satisfy our fetish for novelty, for new stimulations, ignoring the fact that there's always more, there's always the need for more, and dead things don't decompose organically the way people do.
At some point during the documentary someone asked "why do we create anything to be permanent?" People aren't permanent. Our love for things isn't permanent. Why the need for permanence?

Of course to me the question of far greater importance is the quality and function said thing provides during its time in anyone's life. This also applies to people. If you give someone shit while you are with them, no function, no kindness, you cannot expect anything back in return. 

Of course this does not apply to objects, and herewith lies the fatal misunderstanding. 
Living amongst things guarantees an impunity from selfishness, non-reciprocity is just a given in the relationship. 
Eg. I have a chair, it's lovely and comfortable, and I don't owe it anything for that service.

There are people who've been living amongst things (computers are things) for so long that they cannot distinguish, and behave badly. 
As someone who is on a computer constantly, I worry about this.

The very end of the documentary pointed out that the most valuable things  for people are the ones with attached emotional significance, that have had an intrinsic effect on peoples' lives...an old key, a teddy bear, a letter. 

The doc ended with a shot of a small wooden cupboard and on its drawers someone had etched the words: 

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

If only.

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