When thinking about designing products we must always have human needs in mind. I think sometimes we forget that there should be a deeper meaning to products and instead companies chase money instead of happiness. It is easy to want something because it is popular, like the newest trend on the market, but it does not fulfill a human need. The new trend fulfills a human want instead. We do not NEED the new Apple Watch, but we WANT it. It fulfills our happiness barometer until the new edition of the Apple Watch comes out then we do not want the one we have anymore. This is the problem with people and with companies. For companies, it is all about how much money they can make, and for people it is all about how much they can fit in and look good.
We have lost sight of creating products that create an emotional attachment. Everything is so easy to throw away nowadays. I do believe that even with the products we have we can create an emotional attachment, but how often does it happen? It usually happens with expensive items or jewelry or it even could be who gave it to you. But I guarantee you will not develop an attachment with the cute graphic tee you just had to have. Yes, I admit, I am guilty of this. It is hard not to be. We all want to dress nice, look good, and feel good. However, is it the products that have always done that or is it the pressure society puts on us?
A great example of proving that it is indeed a self-inflicted thought that we should look good and have the newest things because society makes us is the Little Brown Dress experiment. She proves that honestly, no matter what you wear it is highly likely that no one even notices what you have one. You might get a compliment from a friend, co-worker, or stranger but I promise as soon as they leave your presence they do not remember what you were wearing. She proves that you truly only need one piece of clothing and of course some outerwear, tights, and undergarments, but she could survive a year wearing the same dress and even be HAPPY doing it. We should not put our happiness on products but just focus on who we surround ourselves with. The quote on the slides says it perfectly, “You never know what is enough, unless you know what is more than enough”- Wendell Berry.
My group and I were assigned “having” and what stood out to us was the idea of connection with others. What inspired us was high school students created a club that made sure no one ate lunch alone. Whenever someone was alone a member of the club would sit with them and just talk and give those lonely kids a friend. Sometimes it is hard to make friends especially in a new environment but all it takes is one person to start a movement and create a ripple effect. I personally went to a small high school where everyone knew everybody which made it easy at lunch time, but I can only imagine what it would be like to not know anyone and the room and no idea where to sit. Once someone makes the first move to just say hello it makes the world of a difference. We see the idea of thinking about others in many upcoming companies such as “Who Gives A Crap”, who thought of the fact of toilet paper is a needed item that a lot of people do not think twice about buying because it is a basic human need but some countries and people do not have that luxury. Before we design anything, we just need to think about what people need and how to capitalize on that. Especially when it comes to helping other people.