Objectified. Grids.

In today’s class, we watched ‘Objectified’ – a documentary directed by Gary Hustwit. The movie provided different perspectives of looking at the role of everyday non-living objects, and the people who design them, in our daily lives. It gave a glimpse into the process of design thinking, by directly interviewing designers who are acknowledged with ‘a record of achievement and accomplishment’, those who ‘indeed possess and use a high level of design ability’ such as Tim Brown (Director, IDEO), Jonathan Ive (Senior VP Industrial Design, Apple), Karim Rashid (Designer), Jane Fulton Suri (Chief Creative Offier, IDEO), etc.

Some of the topics discussed in the movie include: ergonomic design, democratization of design, design philosophy, interaction and sustainability. Despite the feature length, the documentary was very interesting to watch. It also caught me thinking about the role of design management in the creative industry. I see myself wondering if we are capable of designing a sustainable product, in term of both functionality and emotional experience; if we can improve everyday life experience by just a simple touch of design.

That’s what we’re really always looking for whenever we design, ways we can improve the way people do things without them even knowing or thinking about it.

-Davin Stowell, CEO & Founder of Smart Design

You can watch the movie here: http://documentaryheaven.com/objectified/

Second half of the class, we went back to our old friend, the Grids. I barely see myself working with grids that often, especially in term of Graphic Design. The theory of the grids: how to use it properly, what is a correct grid, how to use grid to maximize visual effect, etc, is still a myth to me.

We also learnt about the history of the grids, which I am currently digging in all over again. I hope to have a better idea of the grids by understanding the context of why the system was invented. I also think there’s no right grids and wrong grids at all, it’s all about experiment, and how visual aesthetic can be (mainly) decided by ingenious placement of separate design elements (images and texts).

My grid-based experimental poster design and sketchbook. 


Cross, N (2011). Design thinking: Understanding how designers think and work. New York: Berg.


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