YOU ARE HERE BY DESIGN
- DESIGN IS POWER
- St. Louis, MO, United States
- 1) DESIGNERS CAN MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. ex: We got you to come to our website.
2) IN OUR WORLD, EITHER THE DESIGNER OR THE DESIGNED FOR IS HUMAN. ex: You are human and so are we.
3) DESIGNERS CAN WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY IF THEY UNDERSTAND HUMAN NATURE. ex: We know people are wary of having their flies open in public. 4) DESIGN AT ITS SIMPLEST IS AN ACT OF MANIPULATION OF HUMANS, WHAT THEY WANT, AND HOW THAT DRIVES THEIR CHOICES.
Based on these assumptions, we conceived Design Is Power, an exploration of human nature. Through a series of ‘experiments’ (using the Washington University community as our test population) that incite reaction and action, we are exposing several human tendencies. Ultimately, we want our viewers to question their impulses and realize their roles in a designed world. And as student designers, we hope to explore the range of human responses we can call upon in our work.
So where do you come in?
Your participation in each designed moment completes its message, and we seek to activate the dialogue between designer and viewer. Whether you are a participant or just a curious observer, we encourage you to share your thoughts by commenting.
22 November 2009
Medium: Post-It Notes
Location: Personal affects, campus wide
We discreetly placed 500 sticky notes in people’s personal spaces, creating for each an intimate encounter with a comment from an unknown source. The reader is made to question the truth of the statement, and then forced to decide whether or not to act upon it in order to quell his fears or fulfill his need for social belonging.
Medium: Tear-off Flyers
Location: Walls and Through-ways OR Nooks and Crannies, Campus Wide
150 of each of these flyers were distributed across campus. They invited each viewer to tear off a tab as a sign of his/her accomplishment. Here we tap in to everyone’s need for self-affirmation and the power of reward.
Medium: Caution tape
Location: main walkway, in front of Olin Library
Caution tape was wrapped around 4 trees on the main walkway in front of the library. It obstructed the most efficient pathway, redirecting each viewer’s route and making him or her more aware of the surroundings they take for granted.
Location: “Thinker” Bunny
We gave a sign to the bunny, an outdoor sculpture in a high-traffic area of campus. The act pairs the outlandish “thinker” bunny with the message that exposes every student’s worst fear upon graduating.
Location: Aisles, Brown 100
We filled the aisles of Brown 100 lecture hall with 275 balloons. Students encounter the obstruction on their way into class and are forced to choose between their innate urges to play and their immediate academic duties.
Locations: Men’s and Women’s bathrooms, Danforth University Center
We planted goldfish in all of the toilets in the readily used bathrooms of the DUC. Above each toilet is an arrow that ensures that no one can miss the presence of the fish. The subject is forced to choose between his own needs and the fish's: does he reach into the toilet water to rescue the fish from its uncertain fate or simply leave?
Note: No goldfish were harmed during this project. Each was safely secured in a plastic bag and then later returned to its loving owner.
Medium: Scrumptious cookies
Location: Whispers Cafe, Olin Library
A basket of homemade chocolate chip cookies was left with a sign offering them for the taking. However, the sign was accompanied by a post-it note with “But I sneezed on them” scrawled in pencil. Our hungry viewers were forced to choose between their cravings and their fear of germs.
Medium: Newspaper advertisement
Location: Student Life Newspaper, Campus Wide
We bought an ad in the school newspaper that instructs the reader to scare someone by tearing out the copy, “turn around” and placing it in someone else’s path. As a result, we enable the reader to feel the power that we feel as he fill our shoes for a moment. In this experiment, we are making someone make someone else do something.