We design the lives we want to live by the actions and the objects we place into it. Trained architecturally, my decision making process when choosing a phone case was based on my current fascination with Vienna. The city is a canvas for adaptive reuse. Classical buildings have modern rooftops; the new and old cohabit in perfect harmony. This sparked a curiosity. Could a building be a timeline of itself? And can my phone do the same thing?
I looked into the idea of trading in my iPhone for a flip phone or something of the sort, but I like the convenience and I'm not “addicted” so there was no real need to take that leap. Instead, I bought a hot pink oldies phone case. It's the kind of phone 90s kids remember having their parents own – the one with the antenna on the side... the chunkier the better. I found my old.
This phone case is BIG. It fits in no pocket and it is hot pink. There is absolutely no way to hide this case - it's ostentatious and obnoxious. The first day I was a bit embarrassed as everyone walking on the street or anywhere I went would see this gargantuan object. That quickly faded as this phone case became a larger and larger asset to my life. I never lose my phone, the rubber acts as an amazing shock absorber to the common drop, and everyone has something to say about it. It brings people together, my phone has become a social catalyst. At Starbucks the conversation almost always diverts to my phone case after I pull it out to pay with their mobile app. The obligatory how are you is then followed with a genuine chat.
Design spans far past the architecture of a home remodel or furniture. Design is curating what is good and what makes us happy. The phone case sparks a variety of conversation because it is different and it reminds us of the past - the joys of when mobile phones were new and exciting. Curate the objects to curate happiness.