Monday, July 13, 2009

a sensitive pan

This pan feels so alive that you'd almost feel sorry for putting it on a fire.

I love this direction for product design; showing how with simple technological augmentations an entirely new interaction can be elicited. In our capitalism-imbued machine-like technological lifeworld where emotion and deeper meaning in the products around us is abstracted to not much more than a surface coating, products that continuously, sensitively and meaningfully respond to their environment can make us feel much more connected, more at one with our world. This is not just adding emotion to an otherwise boring, functional product. Of course this physical response of the pan can induce an immediate emotion in interaction by viscerally showing a person how to handle the product. But this responsiveness of otherwise experientially dead products is changing our entire ontological relationship with the product too. If we see that what we create changes beyond our control, and that this can be beneficial to us if we just learn to flow with it, we might also ourselves see that we are continuously in a state of flux, part of our environment, one with it if we only choose to and see that it is much more fulfilling than condensing ourselves in something static that we attach to. As the old Buddhists and Heraclitus already knew, everything is constantly in a state of flux. Well that might or might not be so depending on one's frame of mind, it's in my opinion clearly a more beautiful and ultimately more fulfilling idea to design products for.

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