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ObjectifiedObjectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability.

Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?

Objectified is the second part of a three-film "design trilogy" by Gary Hustwit, details on the third film will be released soon. Objectified had its world premiere at the SxSW Film Festival in March 2009, and is currently screening at film festivals, cinemas, and special events worldwide.

Ratings: 7.25/10from 4 users.

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19 Comments / User Reviews

  1. CrayRail

    Very interesting watching these well manicured capitalists sitting around in their expensive labs and their cotour outfits talking about "designing" things better and never once acknowledging the role of actual human beings in the industrial production process. Millions of human limbs and minds have to work together to produce a bumper crop of plastic chairs or garden shears, no matter how smartly designed the handle. All the profits in the world come from the poor wage earners who do not objectively benefit from the labor for which they are paid.

    These fools have run out of time. The duel crisis of capitalist profitability and overproduction combined with the real world physical limits to unlimited capitalist growth (environmental breakdown) have combined in this latest round of austerity cuts on the poor and continued oppression and dictatorship in what used to be called the third world. We need a new way of doing things, we need a collective solution to our common problems.

    "Design" can't take us away from an unsustainable economy based on fossil fuels. Can designers change capitalism from a wasteful, consumer/producer based system that exploits people to something that is egalitarian? No, these are political problems and contradictions that are inherent in the system.

  2. GeneralTao

    Good documentary. I don't think that design is the cause of all troubles. It's the capitalist-consumerist society with its idea of mass production and constant consumption that is the culprit. Things must be made to last for a very long time and in the end of the life cycle they have to be easily transformed, re used, re cycled, etc... They talk about that in the film a bit.

  3. Jeremy Calhoun

    David, you are who you are because of the things around you not regardless of them. You think you would be the same person you are now if you didn't have your first bike, or your favourite sweater or favourite super car growing up? No. We attach ourselves to objects as we move through life and each have their moment closest to us. Designers take the brunt of the marketing mask because they get their names put on things, not the marketing company. When was the last time you heard of a James Group product or an Ogilvy and Mather idea. They pimp out designers to be the fall guys for any and all things that the public sees. Get yer head out of yer arse and realize everyone is getting played. There is a lot more to human nature than you care to admit. Perhaps you could research why you surround yourself with the 'things' you keep in your life. Would you be the same without them? How would you live? What would you do to make that life better?

  4. David

    Designers are, it would seem, the sad type of stupid that believes it's own bullshit. Consumer culture, and the marketing that spawned it, has convinced most that things represent who we are. This is not true. It's the lie to make you buy. It the lie that designers spew to get paid. You are who you are regardless of the objects around you. Buy nothing you don't need.

    1. Andrew Riethmuller

      So you have never bought something out of pure desire? Never bought something just because it made you feel good? I am an industrial designer and in a way can understand what you mean in a way but you obviously dont live in the rel world. Design can be art just like any other form (sculpture, music etc.) and we all know that good looking things (and people) are desirable

    2. henrymart81

      You are not kidding. One of my close friends works in marketing/advertising and she seems to fall for the gimmicky ads more than most people.

    3. Eric

      How about you make some suggestions as to how to solve that problem rather than over-dramatically attacking a group of people who obviously aren't the cause of it. "Buy nothing you don't need" is a great little idealistic mantra, but that's all it is. If you care so much about the problem then go take the time to DESIGN a solution, because design is a lot more productive than spewing blanket ideologies on internet comment threads.

    4. I AM POP SLAG.

      lol, you shallow prick.
      "buy nothing you dont need" disturbs you somehow? there are many of us who do just that.
      design a solution? what to deal people who cant understand the phrase "buy nothing you dont need"
      dont need to... they already invented the shotgun.

    5. Eric Young

      No, the term itself doesn't disturb me and like I said it's a great little idealistic mantra. How did you not understand me when that's exactly what I wrote? I actually live by that mantra myself, at least in comparison to most of my own peers. I do not, however, think I have the right to impose my own mantra's and way of living on others... something that you are apparently willing to do while looking through the sight of a gun. And I'm the one who's shallow? A monkey can pick up a piece of metal and pull a trigger. It takes a man to think hard about a complex problem and design a solution for it.

      Rampant consumerism is an extremely complex problem and I'm sure that if you think it through a little bit you'll come to that realization. Sure everyone can "understand the phrase" as you put it, but understanding something is different from employing that understanding in one's own actions. I understand that I shouldn't smoke cigarettes because its basically a slow-death stick, but the Dopamine it releases in my brain (and other things about it) keeps me coming back for more. Acquiring a new 'thing' also releases Dopamine (for most people), so does that mean it plays a role in the consumerism problem as well? This neurological-related question is just of many, many others that could be raised to further one's understanding of the consumerism problem. In order to come up with a good solution, a good understanding of the problem is needed and so these questions should be asked by anyone who really cares to tackle the problem. Making angry and unqualified accusations like David did is a childish way of transferring blame to others, rather than making the effort to think through the problem oneself. If he has a valid argument to support his claims then I'd love to hear it, but till then he's just blowing hot air. As are you.

      Out of all those questions that could be thought up, your comment raises an even more important one... If I buy a product that the Pop Slag Need Nazi's have deemed not-needed, are they going to bring a shotgun to my door? If so then I will defend myself, and since they're kinda monkey-brained (due to relying on their guns rather than their wits) the odds are I'll trap or kill them first because that's just how evolution works.

    6. I AM POP SLAG.

      yep. misguided twats the lot of them, arranging the deck chairs onthe titanic. irony is -if they had gotten design right the first time around we wouldnt
      a.still be doing it or
      b. designing pointless eco crap like they are designing a deck chair layout for the titanic.

  5. myrna sunico

    must see for all product designers and manufacturers

  6. myrna sunico

    very inspiring for industrial design students and designers

  7. deox

    A MUST-SEE for every product design student.

  8. Zutko

    This documentary was awful, and dealt so little with the pile of crap all consumerist cultures have dumped upon the world that it made me quite angry throughout. There is mention of it at the end, but I couldn't care less what these millionaire designers have to say about their goddamn chairs--poverty is crushing human kind and environmental degradation is ruining the Earth's ecosystem. Isn't this what the WHOLE film should have been about?

    1. bigbadjon

      Sure if we hugged trees all day long and didn't have to sit down to eat or drive a car to work. Lets not blame poverty on the chairs and silly french guys who think about cushioning their asses all day long, it is a little larger in scope than that and if you change the main point of this movie to Environmentalism then are we going to change all movies. There are movies about environmentalism and some about fictional battles in a far away galaxy but lets not condemn this documentary because it didn't live up to your unreal expectations. I expected it to be a design film from the beginning and I was not let down, GREAT FILM.

  9. pokerslut

    Very cool documentary. It is certainly something designers of any kind should watch. Very philosophical and enlightening.

  10. Praveen

    This is the best documentary on Design i have ever watched.

    Highly inspiring, comprehensive and enlightening.

    A must watch for every designer


  11. Thomas

    That's sad, ron. But there really isn't any better player than Google YouTube's. Maybe you should upgrade your bandwidth if it's very low or soemething.

    Thank you for adding this video, Vlatko, hopefully YouTube will leave it alone.

  12. ron

    Had a hard time with loading and watching this video. I found it very interesting. I have been wathcing the video's all summer. The google vido player is the best. Everything else is very slow and not useable. YouKu is of no use unless the bandwidth is huge. This YouTube video on design continues to stop and they are slow loading as well. I download and then watch later at times and google is the only one that allows this to work seamlessly. All the documentaries should be based on the google player. I understand you don't have control over that but just my suggestion.