Lonely Humans

Last lecture we learnt about a few theorists and artists, the main names being Don Newman and Kristine Niedderer. This lecture followed on from our first year programme series on phenomenology.

Alice Twemlow claims that graphic design is more than just drawing pretty pictures and, due to post modernism, it has broken it’s own boundaries to create a new definition. With this in mind, Kristine Niedderer created many artefacts. These said artefacts needed interaction and a form of social convention in order to be used. For example, there is a cup that has ergonomically placed holes in so that the user must place his fingers over them in order to have a drink without it draining. Therefore the cup and human have to become one, in one sense. The other, as pictured below, is a series of cups that cannot stand alone and need each other in order to stand as they connect.

In looking into this closer and analysing the series, it hinted at three possible perceptions.

1) Is Niedderer attempting to replace human interaction?

Perhaps but how would she drink alone with multiple cups?

2) Is Niedderer therefore just lonely or single?

The semiotics in these pieces will always be questioned, but I believe that these artefacts reflect her as a person. The cups above that need each other in order to stand show that she has a desire to not drink alone and wants to be in a social environment. The glass at the top hints at the fact that because she is not on a social group, she drinks alone, but desires interaction and therefore replaces it to have a relationship with the glass in order to suit her needs through the medium of alcohol.

With point two in mind, over the past few decades, interactive and user experience design has not only been established but is growing. Is this because the human race is lonely? Perhaps it is in fact the case, as linking back to another lecture series, the need for interaction comes as the most needed part of life according to Maslow’s theory the hierarchy of needs. Human interaction starts at the basic human need of reproduction. It is inbuilt.

Design group Droog, designed a bench that is economic in space. If a person sat on it, they would automatically move so they are next to a person who is already sat. This hypothetically would aide in the basic human need as the users of the bench would be forced to interact, even a little, even if it’s just to apologise for the intrusion of personal space.

So is it true? Does interaction design exist because the human race feels lonely in it’s crowd?