This past week I received my copy of Gary Hustwit’s film Objectified. You can imagine my excitement to have the opportunity to finally press play, but seventy-five minutes later I found myself asking: “–That was it?” Just as with Helvetica, I enjoyed the film, I truly did, but I found it too closed niched, too much in the preference of a certain kind of designer and object.
Where were the Campana brothers? Did the One-Laptop Per Child deny an interview? Was Phillip Stark not available? Javier Mariscal? How come no electric cars made it to the edit? How about Massimo and Lella Vignelli? And those unsung heroes who today produce some of the most amazing work on the sustainability front? How about Catalan designer Juli Capella who constantly writes about Spanish objects, their design and influence in culture? How come Scandinavia’s and India’s work did not make it? And why were there no architects? (they happen to design a large percentage of the objects that surround us) I bet you can also instantly think of a few more examples.
This project being a film, I understand its need for editing and focus. Not everything can make it. I understand that, but… Would it have been too hard to minimize the fourth showing of one person and introduce the perspective of an up-and-coming designer? And how come Latin American design has not been referenced? (I am so shocked about the non-showing of the Brazilian Campana brothers).
As you can tell, I am a bit disappointed, but don’t let that discourage you from watching it. The film offers a rare look into the process and thinking of some of those whose work has changed the contemporary way of living. It is a good reference. It just left me with too many questions that probably only a design nerd like me will ever make…