Misbehaving design: Badly behaved objects with good intentions

17 : 09 : 2014 Weng Xinyu : Berlin : Product Design

Berlin – Design student Weng Xinyu has created a series of badly behaved objects with the best of intentions.

Angry Lamp, Weng Xinyu Angry Lamp, Weng Xinyu
Angry Lamp, Weng Xinyu Angry Lamp, Weng Xinyu
Shadow Play, Weng Xinyu Shadow Play, Weng Xinyu
Shadow Play, Weng Xinyu Shadow Play, Weng Xinyu
Time Killer, Weng Xinyu Time Killer, Weng Xinyu

For his final project, Xinyu based his work on the Chinese proverb ‘Good medicine tastes bitter’. Applying the notion that good intentions don’t always have good outcomes, the Bauhaus University graduate designed inanimate objects that mean well but behave against the wishes of their owners.

The objects include Tangible Memory, a photo frame that blurs photos when it is not paid enough attention, and An Angry Lamp that turns itself off if owners have forgotten to or there is already enough light. Others include Time Killer, a clock that attempts to cut its face off when it can’t sense anyone near, and Shadow Play, a lamp that turns its light and shadows into a puppet theatre. 

The playful re-imagining of common household items is not only witty and emotive, but is meant to ask fundamental questions about the function and limitation of design. On his website Xinyu asks: ‘Do products always have to satisfy the users? How can products that are purposely made to be not so useful affect our perception and understanding of them? How can designers deliver ideas through products?’

For another example of re-imagining household objects through design, read our Seed on the Milanese exhibition Delirious Home. Xinyu’s sense of bringing his designs to life also reflects the emergence of Awakening Tech. Watch our preview of the forthcoming macrotrend here

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