This paper explores the idea of ‘story’ as an alternate mechanism for reflection on the relationship between designer, user and object. The intention is to give voice to the shifting, context-driven, location of desire in our interactions with objects as creators and users. It argues that stories in the style of Hans Christian Andersen provide an alternate way of communicating the ideas and feeling embedded within the creations we produce. The story element of the paper is a mechanism used to allow an object to speak, to tell its tale. Within this paper the story talks to and for, the light design ‘UMM’. The UMM is juxtaposed with a relatively mundane object, a box of matches. This provides a context that allows the character of the object to be expressed in a way that is different to a more ‘normal’ critique or analysis of objects. The paper presents an introductory context, then a ‘story’ for reflection followed by an elaboration of Hans Christian Andersen’s writing style. The paper attempts to bridge the ‘object design’ practice/ theory conundrum providing an alternative mechanism for revealing the messages embedded in the silent language of objects through the mechanism of a ‘story’.
Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools 2003 Conference. ACUADS 2003 Conference Proceedings (Sandy Bay, Tas. 1-4 October, 2003)