For outside observers, the umbrella is something easy to latch on to: An ordinary object used to fight against state security apparatus. It helped those far from Hong Kong understand a conflict driven by a wide variety of factors including Hong Kong’s complicated colonial history and tradition of democratic protests.
In Japanese culture, there is a word for this: chindogu. The literal translation is “weird tool,” but the concept is about utility, or lack thereof. Kenji Kawakami coined the term as a way to point out objects that are invented under the premise of solving a problem, but which, in practice, only generate more problems, rendering them devoid of utility. Kawakami humorously calls them “unuseless,” which is to say, they have a function, it’s just not one that helps us (and it may be one that harms us).
The company studied thermostat interfaces going back to the 1950s, realizing that even the advances of touch screens in the late 1990s and early 2000s did little to improve the ancient but resilient physical-dial user interface. Whereas incumbents incorporated endless digital features, such as calendars and photos, Fadell and Rogers understood that additional icons confused consumers. Household devices are not upgraded every two years like a phone; more likely, they’re replaced every 10 or 20 years. The design had to be timeless.
First and foremost, [companies] view people as rational beings. If you’ve studied a page of Western philosophy the last 100 years, you would know that’s not the case. It’s a bad description of what it means to be human.
Everyday people make choices that have small or big impacts on their lives and on others. With the recent trend of increasing usability in interface design and product design, the world is becoming an easier place to live in. However, by making technology easier to use, people are making themselves more dependent on the technology. Technology is something that is taking bigger parts of people’s lives, and therefore, making them more vulnerable if something is to happen. Designers have to make sure they are working by the right moral values and to know that every choice they take will inflict on the lives of others.
Reblogged from Anne Aretz
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“It’s not rocket science. It’s social science – the science of understanding people’s needs and their unique relationship with art, literature, history, music, work, philosophy, community, technology and psychology. The act of design is structuring and creating that balance.”
– Clement Mok
– Clement Mok