The focus week Objects as tools for communication with Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler (mischer’traxler studio) explored the potentials of objects in relation to current societal challenges by appropriating strategies of marketing and campaigning.
We all know campaigns and promotions, posters and give-aways as typical publicity materials that try to manipulate us in our daily lives. Known from bright ads and graphically pleasing handouts, the designed items manage to trigger (unnecessary) needs, push us to do different activities and challenge our consumer patterns and political choices.
What if we use the same mechanisms for three-dimensional communication in order to raise social awareness, start ecological activism or form protest? How can we invite the public for more community engagement or draw attention to problems that could be solved by small behavioural changes? How can small designed interventions address widespread problems, common healthcare, environmental problems or enhance social commitment? How can Design question and change our behavioural patterns?
A hands-on five-days’ workshop explored such questions and aimed at designing tools that could activate the public to participate in social, environmental and urban projects. The students analysed and tested what to hand out to people, how to ask them questions to gather relevant social information or how to motivate them for positive change.
This exploration resulted in six tangible workshop outcomes with interesting concepts: ranging from playgrounds for adults to fashion items for excessive smartphone use, from surprising story- and fact-telling for children in the urban surrounding or from simulating the night views of insects to an app (24 journeys) which gave small tasks to “get lost” on purpose in order to discover the city differently or – last but not least – to enjoy the project “Verweilen” in the Stadtpark. It was a pleasure to share the creative potentials of all ideas.
- January 2020
- mischer’traxler studio Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler