Ease, comfort and efficiency are assumed desirables; they form the established norm of unquestioned values in commercial product design. The norm shapes our everyday. Those daily things considered mundane and commonplace, form how we go about our daily doings. How we actually live our lives. Design needs to be there to defend human interest; to approach the user differently than a passive consumer, to create space for human qualities in contemporary everyday life.
I have been exploring the potential of design for effort, and propose three examples to represent areas of potential. The proposals evoke effort of different kinds, each creating space for other alternative values.
Object A is a light concept working with reflections. Reflecting from one surface to another the light can be followed and its behavior studied. The elements of the light Object A are tools for exploration and active learning; to actively perceive the daily phenomenon of light.
Object B is a backpack to be assembled from a large sheet of textile and a set of straps. Over time, the usage of the bag can become a personal ritual. Wearing the bag can also be a statement; how will people react when the large cloth is dramatically folded open in a public environment?
Object C is a cup with rounded base. The cup moves; never fully finding its balance it sways back and forth ever differently depending on the amount of liquid inside and the qualities of the gestures it has been handled with. The attention is drawn to the moment by giving careful attention to a simple daily ritual.
Designing for effort in everyday products creates space to design for an engaging and stimulating environment. Once deciding simple things are worth more time, strain and patience there is the opportunity to enrich those activities. Effort has the potential to create space for the development of contemporary rituals, active engagement and everyday curiosity.