George V. Reilly

Review: Objectified

Title: Ob­jec­ti­fied
Director: Gary Hustwit
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Copyright: 2009

Ob­jec­ti­fied is a doc­u­men­tary about industrial design and the man­u­fac­tured objects that litter our lives. In interviews with some leading designers, Hustwit brings forth such topics as our emotional attachment to those objects; the ephemer­al­i­ty and planned ob­soles­ence of most of this “stuff”; the approaches of different designers; designing the man­u­fac­tur­ing process as well as the object; how good design often almost dis­ap­pears; sus­tain­abil­i­ty, when most objects end up in landfill; in­ter­ac­tion and interface design; etc.

The danger with such a broad survey is that you can’t do justice to anything. I was left wanting to know more about many of the topics. In the Q&A afterwards, Hustwit mentioned that they shot 80 hours of footage. Most of the designers were in­ter­est­ing and ar­tic­u­late; only a couple came across as pre­ten­tious twats.

Update: comparing Dieter Ram’s designs for Braun in the Sixties and Jonny Ive’s work for Apple today.

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