WHEN OBJECTS TALK
When I ideated this umbrella stand I could not believe that someone else had not already done it*. In fact, this is the most natural shape (a big cone contains small cones very well), and it tells straight out “I am an umbrella stand, put your umbrella here”. An object that talks makes life a little bit easier.
I recently designed a talking coat hanger: it literally talks, saying hello and other sentences when one hangs clothes on it. We have been used for a long time to talk with electronic devices, but always for functional purposes. This is different, because it enters a private sphere in a unexpected way. It raises the bar in the increasing objects humanisation process, both intriguing and unsettling for the design world. Perhaps the next umbrella stand, when one’s about to step out of the house, will say: “Hey, it is going to rain, take the umbrella with you!”
* Actually, someone else has done it before me, and who else if not a fortune-teller? This is the sample that, years after having designed mine, I photographed in the waiting room of a Taiwanese fortune-teller’s “studio”. Umbrella stand aside, he did not guess right anything.