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Friction Intended: Exploring the overlooked potential of designing for effort.
University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, The Department of Design, Crafts and Art (DKK), Industrial design.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

Ease, comfort and efficiency are assumed desirables; they form the established norm of unquestioned values in commercial product design. The norm shapes our everyday. Those daily things considered mundane and commonplace, form how we go about our daily doings. How we actually live our lives. Design needs to be there to defend human interest; to approach the user differently than a passive consumer, to create space for human qualities in contemporary everyday life. 

I have been exploring the potential of designing for effort, and argue for its value by giving examples. I have developed a series of three products under the shared name Friction Intended. The proposals evoke effort of different kinds, each creating space for other alternative values.

Object A is a light concept working with reflections. Reflecting from one surface to another the light can be followed and its behavior studied. The reflective elements are tools for exploration and active learning; to actively perceive the daily phenomenon of light.

Object B is a backpack to be assembled from a large sheet of textile and a set of straps. Over time, the usage of the bag can become a personal ritual. Wearing the bag can also be a statement; how will people  react when the large cloth is dramatically folded open in a public environment?

Object C is a cup with rounded base. The cup moves; never fully finding its balance it sways back and forth ever differently depending on the amount of liquid inside and the qualities of the gestures it has been handled with. The attention is drawn to the moment by giving careful attention to a simple daily ritual.

Designing for effort in everyday products creates space to design for an engaging and stimulating environment. Once deciding simple things are worth more time, strain and patience there is the opportunity to enrich those activities. Effort has the potential to create space for the development of contemporary rituals, active engagement and everyday curiosity.

The design space of the potential of effort is a rich and varied. The examples given by the Friction Intended series, are representatives for a field where much more potential still lays. This is a call, especially on the design field, to question the given, to challenge the norm and to reflect on its impact. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
effort, design, interaction, norm, argue by example, discursive, critical, provoke & propose, ease, comfort, efficiency, stimulate, activate
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-4725OAI: diva2:725144
Educational program
Formgiving Intelligence (Industrial Design, Master)
Available from: 2014-06-19 Created: 2014-06-15 Last updated: 2014-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Friction_Intended_Essay(413 kB)140 downloads
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Friction_Intended_Wayofworking(829 kB)9 downloads
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Friction_Intended_ABC(9768 kB)10 downloads
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Friction_Intended_Map(781 kB)9 downloads
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Friction_Intended_Cards(60 kB)6 downloads
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