Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sharing Pillow by Rui Mu

Sharing-Pillow from Rui Mu on Vimeo.

Rui Mu is an MFA student at the University of Michigan's School of Art & Design. She has been exploring how product design can influence the behavior of users. This is what she says of a recent project:

"In 1979, a ‘one child policy’ was introduced to solve the problem of over-population in China. By 2007, there were approximately 100 million only-children in the country. This has had a great effect on Chinese economic reform. However, it has also introduced new problems such as an increase in selfish behavior that children have. This is currently resulting in a highly increased divorce rate in recent Chinese society since many of them are young adults.

Therefore, I have been exploring the didactic potential that product design has in changing selfish behavior by designing products that only function by being shared. I have designed an inflatable two-person pillow, which cannot be used comfortably without a partner. If one partner tries to use it, all the air will be pushed into the other half of the pillow and will provide him/her with no support. This product will not let one partner be lazy while the other one is working to encourage them to share housework fairly. In addition to changing couples’ behaviors, this pillow also improves their relationship by letting them use it together and spending more time with each other."


Kevin Murray said...

Lovely idea and video. It would be interesting to see if a lonely person might in frustration place a few books on the other side of the pillow, just to restore order.

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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