If design is an innovative tool that helps people to solve problems and also reflects things in different perspectives, it will be responsive to the true need and being of man. And what is the true being of man? For example, it is true that a man has both positive and negative emotions. Positive emotions are being happy, comfortable and motivated. Negative emotions are being sad, lonely, hopeless and disappointed. These important facts should be considered in the process of design.
We are surrounded by functional objects. The functional objects that we see and use everyday influence us in a conscious or unconscious way. Like holding a bowl, the size of the bowl tells us how to interact with it. If the bowl is small, we will probably take it with one hand; if its diameter is over 20cm, you will use both hands to hold it. The influence is understood in a fundamental sense and therefore includes mental and physiological status. The example of the bowl explains the influence of physiological status. What about the influence of the mental status that a functional object can make?
There are functional objects on the market which represent positive emotions as well as the affection for positive emotions of man. Here comes the question: is it possible that we take being positive for granted and think that negative emotions will be excluded from our daily lives? However, negative emotions are also part of us. If we talk about better future, we cannot ignore this fact. The central idea of acceptance of things that exist but are not so welcome is to face the reality. By facing the reality we can continue our development on a more stable basis.
The project aims to create functional objects which represent negative emotions of man. Through using and interacting with the objects users will receive the following message: “It’s OK to be sad sometimes. Being sad is normal, just like drinking a cup of tea. There is no standard to tell you how you should feel.”
Choosing functional objects as the vehicle for my idea creates wider access to people and brings possibilities to interact with them in their daily lives. The project began in 2014. The first prototype was a tea infuser called “Teaman”. Why tea infuser? As mentioned above, the idea should reach as many people as possible. To achieve this goal the design as well as the product category must break cultural borders. Starting with the essential elements of every man’s need such as the one for light, air, water and food I came up with the idea of water. We cannot live without water. There are several derivatives of water, such as tea, alcohol, coffee and juice. Compared to alcohol and coffee, tea is more acceptable by people of different ages.
Teaman stands for depression and drinks. To make the concept even more emphatic and powerful the next steps will be bringing Teaman into production and developing more functional objects standing for other negative emotions, such as isolation and loneliness, and food. By being selected to Beyond Bauhaus I put the concept in front of the broad public and share the knowledge that I have earned during development.
I wish for more tolerance for different voices. It is fine for functional objects to represent positive emotions. But I want to give functional objects a chance to also deal with the bitter, even heavy, but true theme. Imagine that there are functional objects with negative character on the market and it becomes a common occurrence in future. People have choices both of functional objects with negative and positive character. What could it mean?