Understanding the challenge I was facing was the very first thing I had to do in order to shape my point of view and create a vision, which would help me find an answer.
To better comprehend the subject I had chosen, I read a number of books and I did some research which can be summarized by Adam Smith’s idea idea that one is astonished when he experiences novelty. This can happen in two scenarios; when one is discovering and when one is creating. Based on this, I determined that to spark off astonishment I either had to make someone discover something or create something. As I am curious of nature, I chose to explore both possibilities!
My first idea was to make people discover something, which is the opposite of what they consider the obvious.
The challenge in making people discover something new is that everyone is different and with very different experiences. Hence, we cannot know what people have seen, done and experienced in the passed. So how do you make a person experience something new (for him) if you don’t know him?
My idea was to create the impossible, because no one has experienced the impossible before. But since, by definition, experiencing the impossible is impossible, we need to be a little bit smarter than that. We all have basic ideas forged in are minds that lead us to believe some things are the way they that they are, simply because they could not be any other way. These are ideas or concepts that we have accepted because they rational and logic conclusions such as “a wall must be stable otherwise my house is going to fall down.” But some of these are self-created, and some not even true! Thus, I concluded that when people experience the exact opposite of what they believe possible, the are astonished!
To turn this theory into a concrete example I chose to create an unstable world: a world that is alive!
For my thesis’ aim I decided to create one of these living objects: give life to a chair. In order to do so, I did a number of brainstormings, sketches, mock-ups and met people who helped me conceive it. Here are some pictures of this process.
Final step: The Astonishing Jack
After having fully understood each part of Jack, the living chair, I made some final renderings and mock-ups…
My second idea is to invite people in creating this astonishing and living world by using their own creativity.
I believe we do not need to sell pre-maid chairs that will be, at the end of the day, only a sleepy product in this living world. What I suggest is to use people’s creativity to make them create their own chairs. By providing people with as many different shapes for each part of the chair as I can, and by letting them choose which one to assemble, I can ensure that this vision will be fully explored! If we let people create their own living chairs, imagine how many different possibilities will be created? Here is an example of what could be build in these possibilities.
If my thesis project had no time limit, I wouldn’t want to just give people the tools and materials to make living chairs, but also provide them with what they would need to build an entire living world! What if we gave people what they would need to pirate today’s world to bring anything they want to live?
Welcome in an astonishing world! Designers are visionaries, users explorers…
Don’t hesitate to tell me what you think!