Design Stories

The allure of this TED talk by Yves Behar ‘Designing Objects That Tell Stories’ is that it brings together two powerful threads for me:

  1. Design is my lifelong passion
  2. Stories are my current focus

This video is really a showcase of Yves Behar’s design work upto 2008 (The talk was presented February 2008). And, there are some really interesting projects from flat pack furniture to the $100 laptop project. Whilst the title suggests he is going to talk about design and stories, in my view, he mostly doesn’t. Perhaps I missed it?

Two Design Stories

For me, there are two distinct design stories.

Firstly, the creation story – what are we creating, why are we doing it and how should it work? For instance, the backstory to the $100 laptop is a dream for computing access for every child on the planet. And, inside this story there are conditions of use that go way beyond and outside how we would use a laptop in an office.

Secondly, the user story – once an object has been created, how do we talk about it? What meaning does it have beyond its usefulness. Yves makes a beautiful point with a slide of an African woman walking with her lime green $100 laptop on her head. The significance is that African women always carry their most important things on their heads. Wonderful!

My Favorite Things

[Tweet “One of my all time favorite things is my… #designstories”]

Apple - Magic MouseOne of my all time favorite things is my Apple Magic Mouse. Whilst mostly it slaves away partially hidden under the palm of my hand, when I stop to look at it I gasp in admiration. In my eyes, it is such a beautiful thing. Its smooth curved surface and precise design makes it sublime piece of everyday technology. It’s so beautiful it could sit in a gallery as a piece of art yet it performs such a simple, almost menial task – letting me point to stuff on a screen. Even better, it costs under $100. I feel like it should be bigger, cost more and serve some greater purpose.

Your Design Stories

[Tweet “What are your favorite things and why? #designstories”]

What are your favorite things? And, what the stories you have about them? For instance your laptop, your car, your handbag, your favorite piece of clothing, your furniture…

This is a great exercise because simply asking you to identify your your favorites and why starts a dialogue for exploring design in your life.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

More Updates

The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Life's Work

Your life’s work won’t just happen automagically by itself. To fulfil your life’s work you need a plan. But what’s the best way to do this?

Four Questions to Win the Game of Life

I’m a sports nut. I’ll watch almost any sport – especially Aussie Rules football. And from watching and playing a lot of sports, I know

Four Declarations for when things don't go to plan

Forest Gump’s mum famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.” For me, life is