What really caught my attention about the reading was Barrett’s comment about smart phones: “They need too much attention. You don’t really want to be stuck engaging them. You want to be free.” This along with the realization that the future is simpler than what we typically design. But it is incredibly difficult to design something that simple or at least understand what is the simplest solution. It almost like we need to go through the process of designing a complicated future before we can really understand how to make it simple in the right way. I think that designing a complicated future also allows us to “nerd out” for a bit before settling down and actually designing a simple and appropriate future. People love taking the what if and making it real, whether or not it is needed or even should be real. Just the fact that we can do it, apparently, justifies it. By getting it out of our system, people can experience these complicated objects and then appreciate the simpler and more appropriate design. While this does create waste, it is a process we probably need to go through in order to get to that simpler design. It also gives us more to aspire to. For instance, people have been predicting flying cars for decades. While it may not be the best course of action or even feasible, examining that kind of technology could lead to innovation and the simpler design for other areas.
I really appreciate how much design and thought went into making our current products simpler for the film. Putting the interesting relationships aside, I think it will bring about an important conversation about how we design now and why. I’m actually really excited to see the film now.