Alexandre Humbert

Department: Contextual Design

White Sheep Black Dream

Controlling people’s behaviour is part of being a designer. A railway station, a holiday camp, a public space, an amusement park, a labyrinth, and a prison are all places that are conceived to discipline behaviour and enforce order.

Discipline relates to conditioning, submission, rules, control, and freedom. Whatever you do in your life, you will never escape the discipline process.

I have always been fascinated by fantasy and the capacity of people to try and live their dream as they might do in an amusement park. I was never against the discipline aspect of design, on the contrary: I was curious about the designer’s capacity and freedom to play with people’s behaviour.

To explore discipline as a fantasy that becomes reality in daily life, I chose to build a camp, and make a film, an absurd drama about discipline. Maurice, the protagonist, is a perfect ‘white sheep’ who pursues the ideal way of life: love, job and money. But then Maurice engages in an absurd discipline process. This begins as a fantasy, but it will transform him into a black sheep.

To what extent can an individual’s behaviour be controlled? What role
does the designer have in creating new fantasies for the spectator?


Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Femke Rijerman