The Objects of Our Lives

I had been waiting for this film to be released on DVD and, thankfully, it did live up to all the hype and glowing reviews. It was guaranteed that the film would have a smooth, stylish yet highly informative flow based on Gary Hustwit's previous film on the ubiquitous font Helvetica. In terms of career continuity, Hustwit has again taken the viewer on a thought-provoking journey into good design and the reasons for it, this time via an examination of the objects we encounter and use daily.

One aspect of the film, however, did leave me wishing for a more thorough treatment and that was the discussion of sustainability regarding the life cycles of these quotidian objects. More than ever, a valid concern for consumers of these objects (that is to say, all the products we allow into our experience) is what we will do with them once they've worn out.

Certain designers and critics featured in Objectified did address this issue. Bill Moggridge, of the design firm IDEO, expressed his firm's interest in the addition of value through the repeated use of an object so that as the manufactured product ages and becomes "broken in", its value to the user increases either due to increased functionality (i.e. stiff leather hiking boots) or because of sentimentality (i.e. an antique fountain pen used to compose a love letter).

Overall, the film was engaging and enlightening, even if you have only a cursory interest in design. It's a good time to try to spot the products that have crossed your path over the years and also to see whether you agree or disagree with the considerations and justifications behind their design.

Find out more at the film's official website:
Objectifed ~ a documentary film by Gary Hustwit

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