Gwendolyn’s product designs I – “Gray Goods”
“Gray Goods” – giving digital technologies a narrative nature
With networked objects appreciating informationalization of the product-material landscape, this project attempts to give cultural scale and proportion to technologies in order to justify their objectness.
Compared with the roles of white goods (cooking and hygeine) and brown goods (entertainment) in the domestic setting, “Gray” goods attempt to serve a psychological and cultural function that creates a quiet bond of familiarity and personality between user and product.
Through a combination of ambiguity, familiarity and novelty, the gray goods attempt to create a relationship between thinking, using, and doing. It is in part an attempt to carry the goals of modernism into contemporary consumer goods. Form used to follow function, but now due to the arbitrary nature of componentry, a new narrative is needed to save form as well as our roles.
With so few material and technological constraints there is a chance to give products the transparency of a psychological, emotional and referential functionalism.