Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Making the Familiar Strange and the Strange Familiar

Monday nights always seem get me psyched about design. As I sat in Wescoe and Budig this week, listening to Jeremy Shellhorn and Pedro Ayala speak, I felt this weird sense of community. Everyone in that lecture hall, all 500 plus of us, shared that same drive and passion for this "design" thing. It's a remarkable feeling to look around you and know that these people probably shared the same feelings of over-excitement when assigned 100 sketches of a toothbrush. I love being with art nerds because no offense to you business and engineer just don't understand.

Both Monday lectures were chalk-full of useful information pertaining to the world of design, but there was one thing that Mr. Ayala said that stuck with me.

"The goal of design: To make the familiar strange and the strange familiar."
(The truth about art nerds: when lectures get boring, we sketch the lecturer. If I could figure out how to make the quote above a talking bubble, I would most definitely insert Mr. Ayala's genius quote above, but for now, just use your imagination)

How easy that is to say, and how hard that task is to accomplish. I believe it creatively puts into words the relationships we have with everyday objects. We want that coffee maker we use everyday to be intriguing; full of gadgets and gizmos that keep us discovering new ways on ingesting caffeine. But then, on the other hand, we want to instantly understand our new iPhone. Despite the cold, impersonal connection we have to this piece of technology, we want to make it familiar. Maybe that's why people are always making their backgrounds pictures of their dog, their friends, their family; they want the products they spend time with to be familiar.

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