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Friday, August 20, 2010

Annie Leonard: The Story of Stuff

The consumer life, why is it so important for the society of our world. Once watching this video my insight to products and consumer behavior has changed drastically. We live in a society run by consumer products and planned obsolescence, this needs to change in the very near future. Knowing now what the majority of corporations are doing to our environment and how little we have left of our natural environment is shocking. Consumers need to understand and know what the production process and environmental impacts their products have on the environment especially the citizens from the USA. Industrial designers in our day and age need to be more wary of the impacts their products have on the world around them. As industrial designers we need to change the way society interacts with products making them want to cherish every item until it breaks. Not just make them want something because it’s the newest thing on the market and does something cool.

I understand why the US is an unhappy nation. They feed off consumer products. The products are more important to the people then their way of life. Having the newest iPod or computer is more important than experiencing the friendship, family and life. Also for this reason as industrial designers we need to be more wary of the experience of our designs. Making products that allow an interaction between people and environments creating an experience is more important just designing new things for the function, aesthetics and acceptance of society. We need to teach society to feel for a product. For example as a bodyboarder my bodyboard is my most prized product because of the experience that is given to me, I feel disgusted when my board is damaged in any way knowing that it will never be the same as when it was first used. The friendship with one of my best friends has been created though the years of using this product and the countless experiences we have had together is better than any other product I have used in my life. When I go bodyboarding it is more about the experience rather than the usage, the interactions I have with my mates and the ocean are more important that the function and aesthetic look of the board. Although function and aesthetics are important in design the experience is most important.

So as industrial designers we need to understand the connection between consumers, products and society when designing allowing our designs to have a positive impact on our world and society today rather than creating products that damage the environment and follow the consumer cycle.

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