Some of us at Pocobor went to see Objectified on Sunday (playing at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts throughout most of July here in San Francisco). Objectified is a documentary on industrial and product design by Gary Hustwit (the same person who produced/directed the documentary Helvetica). I really enjoyed the film. The film meanders through the different aspects of design (what is design, what makes good design, what are the goals of good design, and where is design heading). Along the way it interviews many of the heavy hitters in the design community, from the lead industrial designer at Apple to the founders of IDEO.
I found the film to be very inspirational because it reconfirmed my views of the importance of good design, and in a kind of self congratulatory slap on the back, it made me feel proud that we here at Pocobor are part of this growing design movement.
Although there were many interesting points in the film, there was one in particular that stuck with me: most companies know the average life span of their products, whether it is a mobile phone that will probably be used for 15 months, or a toothbrush that will probably last 2 months. But despite this short lifespan, almost all products are made with materials that will last thousands of years. Karim Rashid, who brought up this point, mentioned that if he will only keep his cell phone for 11 months, it might as well be made of cardboard that can more easily be recycled.
Cardboard Mobile Phones: Coming to Apple Stores Soon?
While his statement was hyperbole, it got me thinking about the idea of making products with materials that will start to biodegrade almost immediately after their use is done. I don’t have any immediate thoughts or solutions, but I find it a very interesting concept.