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Mug of Fluidity

2019

Speculative
Research

A micro speculative project analyzing the way that humans exhibit their internal identities through external, consumer artifacts. Human character is fluid as we shift and change through life experiences. Static objects are not sustainable as reflections of identity — this encourages the constant disposal of possessions and the purchasing of new replacements that better reflect current characteristics.

Taking the shape of the mug, how might we design a product that is able to be changed and manipulated at any time to externally reflect the fluid personality of the user — showing who they are or who they want to be? 

Advisor: John Rousseau









Why a Mug?
It’s a common item many of us use daily. It sits in our homes, offices, and schools. We get them as gifts from others and we purchase them for ourselves. We have variations in different sizes, shapes, and materials. When you look at someone’s mug collection, it can tell a lot about them.

However, what do we do when we outgrow certain parts of our lives?  Old mugs are thrown away, donated, or gifted and new ones are placed on the shelf until we grow tired of the characteristics they exhibit. This is an unsustainable, consumerist cycle that depends on the psychological need to showcase human personalities on everyday products.








The Big Five
The Big Five (or the Five Factor Model) is a structure of personality traits that are believed to contain the essential characteristics that set people apart from one another. Each factor presents two differing qualities.

With adhesive vinyl characteristics, users can change the front of their mug whenever they like, allowing an accurate presentation in every moment.

Extraversion
Outgoing/Reserved How people interact in social situations and how energy is drawn.

Agreeableness
Friendly/Blunt How people get along and interact with others in most situations.

Conscientiousness
Efficient/Spontaneous How impulses are controlled and the ways people engage in goal-seeking behavior

Neuroticism
Confident/Sensitive How people function in life overall, especially in the stability of emotions

Openness
Curious/Cautious How willing people are to think differently, try new things, and be vulnerable.








Growth + Guidance
Have you ever purchased something because it didn’t reflect who you were, but who you wanted to be?

Not only can users accurately present themselves at all times, but they can portray who they would like to become. The Mug of Fluidity provides guidelines on how to change human behavior.

Outgoing
+ Introduce yourself to others
+ Give sincere compliments
+ Ask open-ended questions
+ Make eye contact and smile
+ Be an active listener

Spontaneous
+ Break routines
+ Always say yes
+ Make immediate plans
+ Indulge in cravings
+ Embrace the unpredictable

Curious
+ Ask questions
+ Read widely
+ Avoid routines
+ Admit to not knowing
+ Explore new interests

Cautious
+ Think before acting
+ Analyze situations
+ Stick with what is familiar
+ Ask for multiple opinions
+ Avoid taking risks