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CONTEMPLATIVE OBJECTS: artefacts for challenging convention and stimulating change

Date Published: 18 July 2013


Book Chapter by Stuart Walker

The creation of contemplative objects is offered here as a means of reflecting upon today’s notions of material culture, and particularly technological products that are ostensibly for human benefit. Through a research methodology that combines critical inquiry with practice-based conceptual design, the assumptions and conventions of our current modes of product conceptualization, production, use and disposal are contextualized within the overarching ideology in which they exist. Selected subordinate objects – accessories that serve primary products such as mobile phones, laptops and printers – are stripped of their potentially influential brand identity and other persuasive encumbrances and included as elements within panel compositions. These aesthetically considered compositions invite reflection and the seeking of meaning. When accompanied by additional information and arguments, such objects offer a creative, discipline-appropriate means for reflecting upon the practices of product design, the kinds of objects they create, and alternative directions for a more sustainable future.

Publication Date

18th of July 2013


Ubiquitous products; sustainability; new perspectives; contemplative objects


Motivating Change: Sustainable Design and Behaviour in the Built Environment (Earthscan Series on Sustainable Design)


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