The power of context


I red an article in the Australian jounal ‘Open Manifesto’, written by a design professor who used to live in Denmark. The article is about one of the things he enjoyed in denmark – our well designed post boxes!? Well, apparently postboxes in New Zeland is long, narrow and they leak when it rains. And in Denmark it rains, it hails, the wind is blowing and still the professor go he´s mail dry.

As he moved back he started to get enoyed when he recieved wet artwork by mail. On a trip to denmark, he brought back a danish post box. Problem solved. At least he thought so. For some reason, the post in New Zeeland never really managed to put the post all the way through the A4 wide opening, or they misused the post box in another strange way. 

As a Dane, I think it’s rather normal to assume that we receive or mail in a proper condition (actually we’re not too impressed with our national post service at all). But what this article frames, is that there is no such thing as perfect design. its completely relative to context and cultural behaveour. Even a (for us) completely obvious object as a post box, is relative to who’s using it.