Do Make Believe Histories Add Value to Our Objects?

Do Make Believe Histories Add Value to Our Objects?
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 7 july 2009

What adds value to the items we own? Beyond quantifiable and tangible factors like price, performance and comfort, we find slightly more vague notions that rely more on an emotional than intellectual response. Attaching meaning in this way, is a phenomenon Rob Walker calls an object’s narrative, the memories we associate with inanimate things, from their provenance to their mere existence at significant points in our lives. It helps explain why we hang on to wedding dresses when they no longer fit and refer to beat-up caps as our “lucky hats.” But what happens to value when we learn the stories behind objects that we never actually experienced or even more so when those same histories are made up?

Walker along with Joshua Glenn and an impressive cadre of writers explore these very questions with their newly launched project Significant Objects. For the experiment, each writer is assigned a seemingly insignificant object that has been purchased at a Thrift Store for a few dollars and tasked with creating a story about it. The narratives will not only be posted on the website, but used as the product’s description on eBay where they will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to the author. And while the objects themselves might be worthless, the stories are bound to be worth every cent.

[via murketing]

Related Post: Happiness Objectified: Do Our Things Make us Happy?


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Tristan Pollock

Temporary Retail Expert

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.