There’s something really…clarifying about objects organized in a single view. It brings a sense of peace that can elude us in our fast, over-thingified lives. We can see an appetite for this peace of mind in the decluttering movement popularized by Marie Kondo, and in the success of Austin Radcliffe’s Tumblr.
Paula Zuccotti, an ethnographer, trends forecaster and designer with the creative consultancy the Overworld, has tapped into this impulse through her book Everything We Touch: A 24-hour Inventory of Our Lives. The project captures, in a single frame, every object a person has touched – chronologically — within a day. Zuccotti’s intent, in part, was to play archaeologist for future generations, documenting our relationship to objects (including those she started to notice were becoming extinct, like calendars, alarm clocks, and cash money). She writes: “from a toddler in Tokyo to a cowboy in Arizona, from a cleaner in London to a cloister nun in Madrid, Every Thing We Touch is their story told through the objects they own, consume, need, choose, treasure and can’t let go.”
“I was amazed at the honest X-rays from our everyday lives that emerged from the photos. As a result, the participants find the exercise very fulfilling in terms of mindfulness. Everyone realized something new about themselves.”
The logistics for the project were far-flung and daunting, spanning 6 continents, 12 cities, 62 people, 1488 hours, and 6860 objects. For a behind-the-scenes look at how it all came together, be sure and see the video at the bottom of the page.
Images via designboom.