Thursday, January 27, 2011

Heidegger's thinging

Back around September last year, I came across an article in design philosophy papers by Anne-Marie Willis which opened up the perspective for my research.  The article, “Ontological designing” (2006) helps in expanding my perspective on the agency of consumed objects through the comparison of a tetra pack juice box with Heidegger’s thinging jug.  In the essay “The Thing” Heidegger’s jug gathers, holds and outpours a drink that gifts a shared experience (Heidegger & Hofstadter 2001).  Conversely, the ‘juice box gathers fruit juices and packaging materials from different parts of the world... it quenches thirst and nourishes, is not part of giving or sharing.. it designs individual consumption on the move...and drinking as an individualised, rather than communal activity’ (Willis 2006, para. 42).
This started  a chain of thinking and making around the ideas of what design gathers or in fact gleans.  More catch up on this subject to come! 

p.s. Peter Downton made the point, and I agree, that Heidegger's jug is more solid and of the earth - probably an earthenware jug, but this was the only jug I happened to have on hand at the time!

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