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care, irl


Care, irl

Spring 2019 Product Design BFA Capstone Project

With the growing popularity of online dating platforms, our relationships are increasingly digital and abstract. CARE, IRL is a family of sprouting planters which can be used as supplement to romantic relationships, offering the today’s dater with a physical outlet for coping with the abstract nature of contemporary dating. These are growable objects which conflate the love for another person with the love for a plant in order to encourage thoughtfulness for a market suffering from emotional numbness.The planter is intentionally made in two parts -- one soft and relatively disposable, and the other permanent -- so that in the event of a breakup they can symbolically lay their relationship to rest by planting the felt portion in the ground.

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care, IRL clearly isn’t for everyone, and honestly, i don’t believe products should be designed for every single person. care, IRL is an example of an approach to designing for love, not a blanket solution. this is an approach that values tenderness, closure, and most of all quality over quantity. this is an approach for designers who aren’t afraid to get a little corny and a little weird. my hope is that i can use care, IRL as more than just a critique of our current dating climate. I hope to challenge the distinction between speculative and pragmatic definitions of design by allowing tangible outcomes to emerge from critique. care IRL is my attempt at working this way for romantic love.