Aalto Art and Design Cases

Mind the Objects

Project ‘Mind the Objects’ is an attempt to shed light on emotional values in objects which has a strong relation in consumerist habits. The relationship between owners and their ordinary belongings is documented on social media by changing perspective to objects' side.

Emotional value between object and user

There are many topics to be discussed in terms of consumerism. Our focus is in the relationship between object and human which makes a certain bond in ownership and ultimately affects the sustainability of material consumption. These bonds are described in different degree of strength, personal meanings, and perhaps that leads to the lifespan of products. In this project, we thought about the human-object relationship by becoming an agency of goods.

Labels of Meaning

At the beginning of the project, different types of items were shared within the team, the meaningful and less meaningful items, which are found in our daily lives. A total of 150 items gathered on the wall showing different states of favour—items that are used in regular basis filling the owner’s routine with more abundance, items that are rarely used and neglected, mundane things, old ones, new ones, etc. They were categorised in several labels based on the stories contained in the objects.

Some points were discovered in this process. The value of an object was being scaled not only by its usability, functionality, and formative factors but in many cases by subjective emotional values by the owner. The relationship between object and user has similarities towards human-human relationships. We wanted to show the ideas relating ourselves into objects in a way to put items to a place where we as people are.

We decided to create stories in perspectives of objects using an online platform to give them voice and character as if we looking at them like we ideally look at people. By putting our belongings in the different light, we tried to criticise the problem in the consumerist habits and give awareness to the audience.

items collecting

The agency of objects

Social media has chosen as a tool to show the relationships between objects and users differently. The intention is as follow. Firstly, to emphasise the objects as a subject in a social context. Secondly, to make an accessible and understandable communication to the audience. Thirdly, to deliver the meaning of the project in friendly and soft tones.

The project had continued to clarify different kind of stories and curated contents in different narratives. The 15 items which were selected from the previous practice, are uploading posts of their reality on Instagram wearing various types of social persona. For example, the jeans which had been abandoned in the wardrobe for a long time, return to a recycling store one day and begin to dream of a new life. The undervalued coffee maker, Moccamaster, is unhappy with his appearance that is not properly cleaned up.

Items are showing different tones of feelings and relationship with the users. Some are having a happily satisfied routine in their life, and some are experiencing a kind of transition as they wish to. The communication among them can be found; commenting and liking each other, and even reaching out to the human world.

overall instagram posts

The showcase of 15 items, Mind the Objects, is displaying on social media with the hashtags we created. It was unfortunate not to have enough time to build the even more considerable amount of contents that would be more believable, and we have admitted that perhaps our project can’t be a method to solve the problem. The project is designed in an approachable way that draws more empathy from the audience than educational campaigns. Some of the audience might start to participate in this practice with our hashtags. Subsequently, it might turn to be a kind of social movement with more coherent contents to follow, but it has to come to an intermediate stage at that time.

Nevertheless, we could experience the changes in our view from giving the chosen items more attention than usual. We could figure out the meaning of objects existing around us, how we utilize the object and how we treat them during its lifespan. It was also fun to catch the interaction between other users and objects. It gave us an improved sense of attachment to our items and effort to take care of them than before. Some items got fixed, cleaned or given to the other for better use. Although there is a certain limitation that the project has been made out from personal and hypothetical ideas, we hope to have a positive impact on society as our message reaches our audience.

For more information, find our project on Instagram with hashtags.

#mindtheobjects #objectsays

just a daily thing bro! feels good to be in regular use & care. make sure to give 100% everytime u get to work!! it’s a 50-50 relationship!

@trim.bro, Wahl 9945-801 Beard Trimmer
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