Tal Erez

Photographer: Vincent van Gurp


This thesis deals with frames. It sets out to frame the emergence of a new consumer, and a likely future, and asks designers to consider a new theoretical framework for their work today. By giving an overview of social, technological and cultural occurrences, past, present and future, it targets the product design profession and, at its core, its relationship with the consumer. This time, the consumer is dealt with not as a source of inspiration, as someone to educate or even someone to passively benefit from, but as someone to engage with in conversation, someone to work with. This is not just to benefit the consumer, but also to maintain the validity of a profession that is facing serious questions with the stagnation of old agendas on the one hand, and the imminent emergence of large-scale home manufacturing on the other. This thesis negotiates the settings for this dialogue, new frames for interiors that could set a space for it to occur in. A design frame is key to this thesis, framing a playing field, offering a paradigm in which product design partially sets itself free. It offers consumers a way to take part in the creative process, to enable a dialogue that acknowledges each other’s qualities. Finally, the thesis refers to a consideration of a communicational frame; new interfaces that might create a strong, tangible language for this dialogue. This thesis is aimed at designers. It hopes to trigger a thought process as well as a design process, to challenge and confront them with a new reality emerging and the need to change to be ready for it. As such, it might generate debate about the role designers choose to take, and the world they would need to respond to.

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