Archives for May 2016

May 10, 2016 - No Comments!

Ironical distances and body-add-ons –
Professor Dr. Rainer Funke on “Dingverhältnis”

As a Design theorist and Professor at University for Applied
Science Potsdam, Prof. Dr. Funke permanently deals with
questions concerning the “Dingverhältnis”.

As for him relationships between humans and objects are tied to
use and function of an object. Thus, within one product group
there are many different operational conditions and codes that
tell the user what to do and how to use and appreciate a
product. In the last couple of decades a huge industry of giving
has developed. Funke explains that “at the end of the day we are
standing under a constant pressure to give and receive as well
as to show our appreciation. We want to show this in a way that
seems appropriate for us. By this we also negotiate our

relationships and show appreciation in the process of giving.”
Funke also talks about "Kitsch”. As for him “Kitsch” gives
meaning to relationships in our lives in a very particular manner.
“The classic definition of Kitsch is based on the inferiority of
objects, hence objects are producing great emotional benefits
with very little effort”, clarifies Funke. One can say that with
"Kitsch" we reduce the complexity of the world in order to
establish a positive ratio. The question about the need for
“Kitsch” also deals with processes of revaluation. “For example
the 'Wackeldackel' used to be a sign of coziness for our
granddads. They could take a piece of home with them on the
journey. And nowadays when we put a 'Wackeldackel' in our
car, most of the time it includes a kind of ironical distance. In any
case there is a specific meaning and emotional benefit.” The
example Funke gives also lead to the perspective that the
realtionship to things also changes in the course of time. After
reflecting on our emotional attitudes to “Dingverhältnis”
Funke reveals another perspective on the relationship between
things and persons.

As for Funke an interesting culmination is happening, when
people work very hard to get their dream object. “There is an
experience symbolized by this object. You will always perceive,
recognize and build this object into your every day life differently
than a thing that came to you by chance.” In this case,
appreciation grows by the commitment and dedication to own the
object. But commitment can also come up with reagular usage.
„For example, I see my glasses as an add-on of my body. I don’t
only need them to see but they belong to my body
as an extension.”

This strong statement reveals even more that there are deep
relationships we build to things which even can be perceived as
part of our natural, human body.

May 10, 2016 - No Comments!

The interface between object and subject – Design expert, theorist, and author UTA BRANDES on “Dingverhältnis”

Pinkdot meets Uta Brandes in her living-and-work place in Köln City. As she opens
her doors a variety of chairs, artworks of all sizes, materials and colors are inspiringly welcoming us. The ensembles emphasize Uta's first interpretation of "Dingverhältnis".
She points out that objects can establish a relationship between each other and create something new by their unique combination.

Uta Brandes Stühle
However Uta's second interpretation is channeling to one of her fields of research.
She pictures "We love or hate objects, find them necessary or indifferent, ignore them,
collect or hide them. All of this expresses a kind of 
ratio that evaluates the relationship we
have with a thing. Uta Brandes calls 
this the interface between subject and object."
Further Uta focusses on the sexual dimension on this interface. She says that if we like
a thing or not is (often) gender-related. "This is not natural in terms of biology but based on how we grow up and how we are trained. Also the context of use and the motivation why we have things can differ between sexes. Sport Utility Vehicles are bought by men and women in equal parts. However the intentions of women who buy these cars are havin a better overview, feel saver and more in control of things. In contrast, for men rather the feeling of being in the Australian outback although driving on a street in Colgne makes the point."

Uta Brandes Dinglichkeiten
Further we want to know how Uta Brandes defines Design. "In contrary to art, design is
only becoming ‚real‘ trough usage. A design object which is standing around somewhere is senseless. I wouldn’t use a painting as a tray but a table that isn’t allowed to be used is
senseless or wrong as a concept 
of design." The utilization concept always carries a deep relationship between human and object wich leads us to the term Non Intentional Design
that Uta Brandes came out with. "People always use things different than the original
intention. Interestingly we all do this all over the world in different 
cultures." For example we make wooden veggie boxes to shelfs on the wall, a used wine-bottle becomes a
candlestick, or we use the chair as a ladder.

This all makes clear, up to Uta Brandes we give things additional or different using
concepts out of various intentions. We have many different motivations why we use
things, and our gender plays a not un-important role. Relationships are everywhere,
in the world of things among each other as well as in the world of humans and on their intersections.