OBJECT THEATRE IN DESIGN EDUCATION

Jacob Buur, Preben Friis

Abstract


In a quest to improve our design teaching we experiment with the theatre genre of Object Theatre. We employ techniques from object theatre to challenge current thinking about product agency, movement and meaning, the spatial location, and the social settings of products. At the end of the project our graduate design students create a post-dramatic performance that engages an audience in experiencing and exploring the product concepts they create.

Our experiences show that it helps us educate young designers in the abilities to take other perspectives than their own (in particular that of the ‘object’), and to ‘act before they think’ rather than try to plan everything ahead. It also challenges both the students and ourselves to shift from a distanced ‘aboutness’ to an engaged ‘withness’ of how we think of design.

The work with Object Theatre seems important in two respects: It provides new theoretical perspectives on product interaction and design process; and it offers a set of very practical activities and exercises that convey these perspectives to the design students.

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