Gary Hustwit’s Objectified Examines Our Relationship With Everyday Objects and Those Who Design Them

Film premieres Tuesday, November 24, at 10pm on the PBS series Independent Lens

“You’ll never look at your next toothbrush (or your next any product) in quite the same way after watching this astute, elegant inquiry into the purpose and process of industrial design.” —Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

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(San Francisco, CA)—OBJECTIFIED, by acclaimed filmmaker Gary Hustwit, gives new meaning to the term “intelligent design.” The second installment in Hustwit’s trilogy on design (the first was HELVETICA), OBJECTIFIED examines the hundreds of items we touch and use every day without giving a single thought to the people who created them. Who makes all these objects, and why do they look and feel they way they do? How can good design make these things and, by extension, our lives better? The film will premiere on the Emmy® Award–winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal, on Tuesday, November 24, at 10pm (check local listings). 

OBJECTIFIED is an exploration of the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to high-tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who reexamine, reevaluate and reinvent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism and sustainability. 

Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are and who we want to be from the objects with which we surround ourselves? 

To learn more about the film, visit the companion website for OBJECTIFIED at, Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmaker and explore the subject in depth with links and resources. The site also features a Talkback section where viewers can share their ideas and opinions. 

Featured Participants (in Alphabetical Order): 
Paola Antonelli (Museum of Modern Art; New York) 

Chris Bangle (BMW Group; Munich) 

Andrew Blauvelt (Walker Art Center; Minneapolis) 

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec (Paris) 

Tim Brown (IDEO) 

Anthony Dunne (London) 

Dan Formosa (Smart Design) 

Naoto Fukasawa (Tokyo) 

Jonathan Ive (Apple; California) 

Hella Jongerius (Rotterdam) 

David Kelley (IDEO) 

Bill Moggridge (IDEO) 

Marc Newson (London / Paris) 

Fiona Raby (London) 

Dieter Rams (Kronberg, Germany) 

Karim Rashid (New York) 

Alice Rawsthorn (International Herald Tribune

Davin Stowell (Smart Design) 

Jane Fulton Suri (IDEO) 

Rob Walker (The New York Times Magazine

About the Filmmaker 
Gary Hustwit (producer /filmmaker) made his directorial debut with the acclaimed film about the global implications of a typeface—HELVETICA, which also had its television premiere on Independent Lens. He previously produced six feature documentaries, including I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, the award-winning film about the band Wilco, and Moog, the documentary about electronic music pioneer Robert Moog. Hustwit worked with punk label SST Records in the late 1980s, ran the independent book publishing house Incommunicado Press during the 1990s, was vice president of the media website in 2000 and founded the indie DVD label Plexifilm in 2001. 

About Independent Lens
Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award–winning weekly series airing Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. The acclaimed anthology series features documentaries and a limited number of fiction films united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement and unflinching visions of their independent producers. Independent Lens features unforgettable stories about unique individuals, communities and moments in history. Presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the series is supported by interactive companion websites and national publicity and community engagement campaigns. Further information about the series is available at Independent Lens is jointly curated by ITVS and PBS and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding provided by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts. The series producer is Lois Vossen. 

Visit the companion website


Voleine Amilcar, ITVS, 415-356-8383 x 244, 

Mary Lugo, 770-623-8190, 

Cara White, 843-881-1480, 

Posted on October 2, 2009