Design and everyday's life

Designers can make a real contribution to everyday's life quality projecting low-tech objects where the shape itself allows function.

Retrato de André Ricard André Ricard Barcelona Seguidores: 449

Opiniones:
0
Votos:
1
Compartir:

Quotidian is all that, everyday, in a recurring manner happens to us. Thus, when we speak of everyday's life we simply refer to life itself. There are, indeed, few occasions in which what we live isn't part of that “everydayness.” In this continuous reasoning of actions that conform life, we hustle, we see, we touch, we use, a whole repertoire of human-made things, engineered to make everyday's life more bearable. If, according to Max Frisch, “only a miracle allows to sustain everyday's life;” those useful things that furnish our lives are and have been, since early times, that necessary “miracle”. A miracle, possible through the ability of the human condition to create the things it needs and nature doesn't provide. Thus, we exist because of those many things aiding us every moment, in every action we perform.

Throughout the centuries, as our knowledge advanced, those things, at first crude essential tools, have become more some sophisticated to provide a greater aid. New techniques and materials have allowed machines and devices that replace us more and more. Not only in the most basic, mechanical tasks, but also in those of more intellectual complexity. Today we talk about the artificial intelligence those material engineerings are acquiring. In the dawn of the 21st century, few are the tasks that go unperformed without the essential help of some artificiality. From the basic shoehorn to the most novel surgical robot, every gesture we do needs for its perfect execution of some of these artifacts we've developed. Whether it is a simple object or a hyper-technified device. With their useful features, these creations have freed us from many tasks, contributing to a better service and greater quality of life.

That said, we'd be at the dawn of a huxleyan “happy world.” But that is not the case. Our conflicts not only exist in human relationships, these are also carried by many of those artificial things. Their servility often hides perversity.

“Artifacts that man has created to set himself free, end up slaving him. If on one hand they help him, on the other they constrain him. [...] These machines and appliances that aid us, are becoming increasingly essential, precisely as they replace us effectively. They are so bound to our own everyday's life that they have become (an important) part of it. There is such sympathy among those things and us that, when something in our familiar object environment malfunctions, we resent it as if we were sick ourselves. It is like if our vegetative system were effectively connected to this external equipment: we somaticize their problems. Things are some sort of orthopedics for us and we relate to them just as if they were authentic prosthetics.”1

But also, one of the features of these technified machines, is their ephemeral life. The accelerated rhythm of technological achievements helplessly offset everything we use in matter of months. The service a device facilitates us is always pending of a new one to outcome it. Every single one of them is born with an announced death. And this we know! If, on one hand, this constant perfection is convenient to us, it's also uncomfortable. We need a less mutating, more stable environment. The changes implied by new technologies in our lifestyle force us to a continuous relearning of everyday's life gestures and install an odd uneasiness, bordering insecurity. Novelties, even those that we perceive more essential, trouble us. Can we keep up understanding and properly using what these innovations have to offer? Every progress stimulates underhand that tension. Any new machine is an artificial entity that, as an intruder, we introduce in our everyday lives, and we eventually coexist satisfactorily. In order to prevent technology from alienating us instead of helping us, a good dose of common sense and caution is required.

What design can contribute to these hyper-technical engineering is marginal. Features possessed by these are facilitated by sophisticated hidden mechanisms behind their chassis, often orthogonal. Design has no access to these entrails. Its role is bound to take care of the tactile-visual relationship man has as an user of that wonder-making machine. In a appliance, for instance, whether it is a microwave heater, or a laundry machine, design can improve clarity while handling some commands or perfect its shape, but so little else. The operational concept itself is decided by those who know and control what technical advances can supply in each case.

Nonetheless, where design is a great creator is in low-tech objects, those where shape itself performs a function. Chattels, tools, furniture, are the things that design will be able to find ways to improve. Things that, despite their diminished structural complexity, are not secondary objects. On the contrary, they're quite present in our lives. Even in this 21st century, we still need lots of simple objects that hardly depend on new technologies and instead need to adapt to the changing needs in people's lifestyles. Some forks or a chair must continue to adapt to the evolution of the way we live. New families demand a review and adaptation of all basic instruments so it matches the new spaces and lifestyles. For example, chairs maybe must be foldable or stackable to place them freeing space when unused. Hanging forks for easier access and not in a drawer. And so, endless changes, apparently small, but improvers of their everyday usefulness. This is the privileged territory where design can expand broadly and make its best contributions.

In these basic, essential things, life needs everyday. Simple objects that, humbler yet intimate, we handle and dominate, we know well with that intimacy given by the handling of use. Objects unsubmitted to technological imperatives. Objects that, when they change, do not alter the essence of our life style, for they only change for adaptation. Things that do not trouble us, for they always retain a pinch of familiarity. Things in which we will always be able to trust, even when all power and communication grids society twisted in our environment to “serve us better” fail. These will continue to be the last bastion of freedom and active autonomy, some sort of praetorian guard, which will keep normality safe in our everyday lives.2 

Retrato de André Ricard André Ricard Barcelona Seguidores: 449

Traducción: Joel Alejandro Villarreal Bertoldi Córdoba Seguidores: 30

Opiniones:
0
Votos:
1
Compartir:

Colabora con la difusión de este artículo traduciéndolo

Traducir al italiano
  1. André Ricard, «La aventura creativa», Ed. Ariel, 2000.
  2. Ibid.
Código QR de acceso al artículo Design and everyday's life

Este artículo no expresa la opinión de los editores y responsables de FOROALFA, quienes no asumen responsabilidad alguna por su autoría y naturaleza. Para reproducirlo, salvo que estuviera expresamente indicado, por favor solicitar autorización al autor. Dada la gratuidad de este sitio y la condición hiper-textual del medio, agradeceremos evitar la reproducción total en otros sitios Web.

André Ricard

Más artículos de André Ricard

Idioma:
EN
Título:
From the Useful-object to the Object-tool
Sinopsis:
Freed from its functional responsibility, useful-objects appear as single-useful formal phenomena whose morphology is used to express a particular message.
Compartir:
Idioma:
EN
Título:
Craftsmanship and design
Sinopsis:
Craftsmanship can not be limited to reproduce past tools and essentials. There is a minor market of handmade products that design should attend to.
Compartir:
Idioma:
EN
Título:
Fewer Products vs. More Services
Sinopsis:
A possible new horizon for the world and for the Design.
Compartir:
Idioma:
EN
Título:
The ornaments
Sinopsis:
An incitement to reconsider the role of the ornament on design works.
Compartir:

Debate

Logotipo de
Mi opinión:

Ingresa con tu cuenta para opinar en este artículo. Si no la tienes, crea tu cuenta gratis ahora.

Te podrían interesar

Ilustración principal del artículo Los Makers y la producción ubicua
Autor:
Jorge Montaña
Título:
Los Makers y la producción ubicua
Sinopsis:
La fabricación digital es ubicua y por ello es el fenómeno más radical y disruptivo desde la revolución industrial.
Compartir:
Interacciones:
Votos:
43
Opiniones:
10
Seguidores:
197
Ilustración principal del artículo Dulce y Amargo
Autor:
Daniel Wolf
Título:
Dulce y Amargo
Sinopsis:
Un producto conceptual que intenta retratar un aspecto de la cultura argentina.
Compartir:
Interacciones:
Votos:
19
Opiniones:
6
Seguidores:
5

Próximos cursos online

Desarrollamos para ti los mejores cursos online de actualización profesional, que te permitirán formarte y especializarte de la mano de renombrados especialistas

Auditoría de Marca

Auditoría de Marca

Taller de práctica profesional: análisis, diagnóstico y programa de marca sobre casos reales

6 semanas
8 Abril

Branding Corporativo

Branding Corporativo

Cómo planificar, construir y gestionar la marca de empresas e instituciones

4 semanas
20 Mayo

Estrategia de Marca

Estrategia de Marca

15 claves para programar el diseño de símbolos y logotipos de alto rendimiento

4 semanas
24 Junio

Branding: Diseñador y Cliente

Branding: Diseñador y Cliente

Tratar con el cliente, hacer presupuestos y planificar las etapas de la creación de una marca

3 semanas
2 Septiembre