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Objectified (2009)

Paola Antonelli , Chris Bangle , Gary Hustwit  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Paola Antonelli, Chris Bangle, Andrew Blauvelt, Anthony Dunne, Dan Formosa
  • Directors: Gary Hustwit
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,966 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Objectified is a feature- length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. In his second film, director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica) documents the creative process of some of the world s most influential product designers, and looks at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. Objectified is about the people who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It is also about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?

Featuring- Paola Antonelli, Chris Bangle, Andrew Blauvelt, Erwan & Ronan Bouroullec, Tim Brown, Anthony Dunne, Dan Formosa, Naoto Fukasawa, IDEO, Jonathan Ive, Hella Jongerius, David Kelley, Bill Moggridge, Marc Newson, Fiona Raby, Dieter Rams, Karim Rashid, Alice Rawsthorn, Smart Design, Davin Stowell, Jane Fulton Suri, Rob Walker

Special Features

  • Extra Footage: 60 minutes of additional interviews in English, German, French, Dutch, and Japanese, with English Subtitles


Witty, engaging and exquisitely crafted. --Variety

You'll never look at your next toothbrush (or your next any product) in quite the same way after watching this astute, elegant inquiry into the purpose and process of industrial design. --Entertainment Weekly

As sleek and handsome as any of the new and improved household items it exhibits. --The New York Times

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's great material, but a second part is needed. February 19, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this documental three times. I also played it in my user centered design class. It's great material for educative purposes, but for first or second semester design students, and particularly the design process at Smart Design and IDEO. I do personally empatize with the way design is done at those two firms. Dieter Rams interview is great. Although it shows the state of affairs and different points of view, it's scope is too narrow, mostly focusing in well known designers, curators, critics and studios from the US, Europe and only one from Asia (N. Fukasawa) Design book publishers (Phaidon) started to realize that there is a lot of good design activity beyond the U.S. , Europe and Japan. I't would be great to see a second part showing the work of Filipino, Brazilian, Kenian or Mexican designers or small design consultancies in emerging countries who have to apply a lot of creativity, obtaining great designs in cultures with less corporation oriented design philosopies, and more technology limited environments. I do agree partially with "JW's" review, Most of this people are involved with a small fraction of the produced goods in the world but it does generally sample the way many design professionals do their work.
Overall its a good introductory film, but I hope more deep filmed material on I.D. will show up in the future.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More inspirational than informative July 17, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Objectified is an odd beast. It's too niche for the average person, yet it's not informative enough for experienced designers. Objectified falls into that category of "introductions to a subject that only people already in it will care about." Also, being about designers, it has moments of intense navel gazing. One designer makes a particularly floaty claim about how government policy makers will turn to designers for truth.

There is also a section in the middle about the "greening" of design, which feels forced and out of place. It is wedged in there to hit a particular demographic checkbox. And there is a *lot* of shots of people on the street using their cellphones in slow motion. By the end, this technique has long since degraded into cornball.

That is not to say that Objectified is without value. If you know who Dieter Rams is, you might get a kick out of seeing him trim his bonzai. You might enjoy watching Jonathan Ives wipe shmutz off of his iPhone screen, or hear people talk about the birth of User Interface design. Don't expect any actual information about User Interface design, or design in general. The enthusiasm that some of these designers bring to the table is infectious. And their perspectives on design, while classic archetypes, have been useful reviews to stay on message with.

But what Objectified brings to the table is not rocket science. It is a basic, but solid 1st-year introduction to the world of industrial design.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as Helvetica but good March 12, 2010
I enjoyed this movie but, it did not feel as tight as Helvetica. I think a slightly different direction in filmmaking and editing was needed. It felt slow and ponderous at times. Maybe it was the subject - limited to commercial product design? Just not enough juicy material to bite into. Maybe industrial design is too young, too commercial, too much built to meet the buyer's needs - despite any radical concepts or methodologies that emerge?
I would like to have seen more 20th C. history. Joe Columbo, AEG: Peter Behrens (the worlds first industrial designer and first to create and use all types of design at a corporation in a consistent manner), Buckminster Fuller (maybe), 1920s American design, Raymond Lowey, etc.. Even as a short 15 minute segment or interspersed throughout, it would be nice to see the history that lead to the "object".
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31 of 43 people found the following review helpful
I was quite interested in the topic of the movie, especially since it promised to explore our interactions with objects in the world. Even the title suggested that it might consider not just the ways that humans transform their environments through design, but the ways that those objects transform our sense of what it is to be human, in the process (perhaps) objectifying us. Instead what this movie offers is a wholly uncritical celebration of design and designers, which culminates in the claim by one designer that they deserve the status formerly accorded philosophers (and, presumably, megalomaniac architects like Corbusier).

I don't really blame the designers for their bombast, but I do blame the filmmakers for their inability or unwillingness to probe beneath these claims and to ask hard questions about the relationship between design, capitalism, and the lives of ordinary folks. There are a couple of gestures toward the environmental impact of all our goodies, but these don't go anywhere. For that matter, neither does the movie. If you watch the first 10 minutes and nothing else you will already have taken in the basic point of the movie, which is to tell you how cool design is, how cool designers are, and how much we should be grateful to them for the sleek functionality of our MacBook Pros (though I would have thought $1700 would be gratitude enough).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not what you'd expect- in a bad way July 13, 2011
Saw this the night after I watched Helvetica. If you are like me and incredibly interested in industrial design- as it pertains to the user and the environment- this will leave you disappointed. I've read books by Bruno Munari and George Nelson, seen exhibits on streamline design and studied the tenets of Dieter Rams...and this film didn't come close to any of those experiences. It didn't go over manufacturing, the challenges, the history- anything of interest. It was 75 minutes of mostly younger designers talking about themselves and their own importance. Dieter Rams got maybe 5 minutes of screen time and the Eames got mentioned once. No discussion of Danish design or Mid Century Italian work. Just an incomplete thought...a perfect metaphor for today's modern "designers."


Yeah, way to be innovative.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting; changes the way you look at design!
Published 5 days ago by kathleen
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very illuminating
The subject seemed interesting and I was hopeful that it would be an interesting look into the product design process. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie for designers of all mediums
This was a inspiring film, I am shocked that I didn't see it sooner.

I think every designer of all mediums should own this. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cynthia
2.0 out of 5 stars Rejectified
I watched this the other day, thinking, "Oh, yeah, that documentary I started watching but never finished. Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Perkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Good beginning for perspective of design got a newbie
I'm starting out understanding the role if design in everyday use. This was a good introduction that has given me some perspective and inspiration. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Biz
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty interesting
It covers a lot of topics and approaches within the field of industrial design. There were even a few interesting approaches to sustainability. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Isabella B. Bannerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool for any designer
If you are a seasoned designer or just crossing into the freelance world, you need to watch this. With so many sources preaching the HOW of design it's good to her reminded of the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Brandon
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile for Designers, Artists and University Level Students
Great overview of contemporary design and the motivations for it. Focuses on new technology and the way it affects our lives. Highly recommend it.
Published 11 months ago by M. Harden
4.0 out of 5 stars Take Notes
This was a fun, interesting, and inspiring documentary. I've used this for starting design conversations with my design team and as a catalyst for our ongoing creative classes.
Published 16 months ago by S. tang
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insightful and inspiring video on industrial design.
I found the design ethics of Dieter Ramms and Jonathan Ive to be quite insightful. I only take a star off because it can seem a bit dry at times. Read more
Published 16 months ago by robertneville777
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