written by:
April 13, 2009

I'm quite excited to post about the latest in a stalwart line of Dwell Conversations. I'll be moderating the panel Objectified in America: Design, Consumerism and Sustainability in Our Changing Economy with the illustrious panelists Gary Hustwit, Bill Moggride, Philip Wood and Tom Dair. The panel is on April 24th from 6:30-8:30 at the AutoDesk Gallery at 1 Market St. Suite 200 in San Francisco.

objectified graphics

Here's the write up on the evening's talk:

The story of America for the past 60 years is essentially tied to the story of our stuff. From cars to clothes to refrigerators that simulate the Arctic better than, well, the Arctic, we as a culture love our objects. But as economic and environmental tides shift, we're faced with the fact that we simply can't continue as we have been. You might rightly argue that we've designed our way into this mess, but can we design our way out? Join Dwell editor Aaron Britt and our panel of thought-leaders for a discussion that touches on how we relate to the objects in our lives, how they shape the world around us, and what we can do to about it.

Gary Hustwit directed the really wonderful 2007 film Helvetica and has just released his latest documentary, Objectified. He and I recently talked at length about the nature of consumerism, how design, or the lack thereof got us into much of this econo-environmental mess, and which objects seem destined for a post-physical digital life. (Also check out Dwell's exclusive online interview with Hustwit.)

I also talked with panelist Philip Wood, founder of CITIZEN:Citizen and a neighbor of mine, and I'm very excited to hear his take on the intersection of sustainability and the production of the objects we so love. Philip is really smart on the iconic, almost talismanic quality certain objects take on, and I expect we'll hear plenty on that subject and the dangers of it tipping into navel-gazing materialism.

Bill Moggridge, co-founder of IDEO and design grosse-tete offers his decades of experience to the discussion, as does Smart Design co-founder Tom Dair. On balance, this panel should be really engaging. That we only have an hour to discuss such varied and timely issues is the only drawback to what's bound to be one of the better talks in town this year.

You can get tickets here, though we expect a big crowd so get them soon. Here are the stats for the night one more time:

Objectified in America: Design, Consumerism and Sustainability in Our Changing Economy

April 24, 6:30 PM–8:00 PM

1 Market St., Suite 200 San Francisco, California 94105

$15

Moderator:
Aaron Britt, Editor, Dwell

Panelists:
Gary Hustwit, Filmmaker, Helvetica and Objectified
Bill Moggridge, Co-founder, IDEO
Philip Wood, Founder, Citizen:Citizen
Tom Dair, Co-founder, Smart Design

Image: from the Objectified official movie poster

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