User-product relationships

This week amongst a great deal of model making I came across a great book called Home-Made, it’s a book written  by a Russian artist Vladimir Arkhipov’s about objects made by ordinary Russians inspired by lack of immediate access to manufactured goods during the breakdown of the soviet union. Upon studying the archive of objects and their stories the book highlighted for me how sometimes it’s interesting but also very useful to simply ask yourself  ‘what would the user do?’.  Below are some of my favourite’s from the 220 individual artefacts collected by Arkhipov.

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A spoon cut by hand to let soap bubbles through to amuse small children.

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A broken guitar was recycled. It may be crazy looking, wild sounding but it’s loved.

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From Left
Polaroid Battery Torch, Under pillow torch , Aeroplane part turned lamp.

What’s so great about this book is the pure simplicity of the objects used to create these hybrid’s. The folk objects are entirely functional and their appearance is fascinating for this reason, they speak to us directly of ideas and stories which are more substantial and interesting than their form. Cleaning, polishing, finishing for the sake of aesthetics and unnecessary function removes the mark of the maker and empties objects of this narrative.

This is why I feel the usability of my lamps, their ability to move around and become something els and light up  a different space is so key to their existence. I’ve been focused on this aspect from the beginning of the project and feel there are elements of what I am trying to do in these hand-made objects, especially the torches where there is no sign fear of  touching the lamp. They have deconstructed and made the lamp work for them, this is what I’d like my users to feel they can do.

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This entry was published on April 22, 2013 at 9:56 pm. It’s filed under Final Major Project and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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