Abstract

This paper is the exploration of an assignment given in an industrial design undergraduate course called “Culture and Communication in Design”. The course aims to give an insight about how objects are analyzed and evaluated by tools provided by semiotics, products semantics and critiques of commodity culture. In this assignment, the movie “Cast Away” was used in order to make an analysis about the meanings and meaning shifts of artefacts that are placed in different contexts presented in scenes. The assumption is “reading” movies with a concentration on the artefacts placed in the scenes gives students a different perspective to see, understand and discuss some terms about the changing cultural significance and value systems of design. Cast Away, as an original interpretation of the story of Robinson Crusoe, enriched by the objects carried together with the main actor to an unknown island, provides a very rich ground to see and interpret the cultural changes and dynamics between objects, individuals and society. The significance of the exercise, or such exercises in the design education, lies in the motivation of training students not only as mere practitioners of design as creators of commodities but also as intellectuals that can reflect on their own profession in a critical lens.

Keywords:

movie analysis, design education, use value, exchange value, sign value

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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Cast Away: A New Way to Read Value of Objects in Context of a Movie

This paper is the exploration of an assignment given in an industrial design undergraduate course called “Culture and Communication in Design”. The course aims to give an insight about how objects are analyzed and evaluated by tools provided by semiotics, products semantics and critiques of commodity culture. In this assignment, the movie “Cast Away” was used in order to make an analysis about the meanings and meaning shifts of artefacts that are placed in different contexts presented in scenes. The assumption is “reading” movies with a concentration on the artefacts placed in the scenes gives students a different perspective to see, understand and discuss some terms about the changing cultural significance and value systems of design. Cast Away, as an original interpretation of the story of Robinson Crusoe, enriched by the objects carried together with the main actor to an unknown island, provides a very rich ground to see and interpret the cultural changes and dynamics between objects, individuals and society. The significance of the exercise, or such exercises in the design education, lies in the motivation of training students not only as mere practitioners of design as creators of commodities but also as intellectuals that can reflect on their own profession in a critical lens.

 

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