I just ejected the disc of the film “Objectified” from my laptop. The last image I recall from the film is a chalk board with these words written on it, “it was beautiful and it didn’t hurt”. I think. Now that seems too long. But that is the gist. I also recall that many of the designers interviewed were talking beyond a sort of mid-century object idealism into a more illusive realm that merges design with the psychology of the minutiae of all human interaction in space and time. Much like traditional sculpture fading into the pages of giant art history compendiums and inadvertently paving the way for conceptual art and installation art, the idea of the designer designing things, objects, for use is opening; the four-walled interior space, the habitat for the multitude species of man-created objects is dropping down, expanding outward toward a boundary-less horizon, ground and space undefined. It occurs to me that this signifies the nascent. We are in a beginning period and that is always very exciting. Everyone seems to feel they are on the verge of making something transformational. Everyone is engaging their curiosity, dropping ego off at bus stops where the route has been canceled.

I am in a design group. We are called CELM Design. I watched “Objectified” as a sort of homework assignment. We’ll meet tomorrow for a while and talk about it.

Yesterday I met with Fu-Tung Cheng of Cheng Concrete Design. It was a job interview. His company has always excited me and though I knew fairly well that I wouldn’t make the grade for this particular job search I felt compelled to apply. I’m glad I did. Meeting with Fu-Tung was an hour and a half of inspiration infusion. And now, watching “Objectified” a day after such a meeting I am certain of the change afoot. Makers are not sitting on their laurels, calcifying self-aggrandized stories about themselves, they are actively questioning, exploring, reaching. I’m relieved and awed by the honesty in this.

Beautiful, and it doesn’t have to hurt.

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