Inspired by discussion and speculation within today’s society, “Echo” is a comment on a possible shift to a narcissistic society as a result of increasing interaction with social media and various personal devices.
Despite the negativity towards narcissism, it is emerging as a social alternative. Associated traits, such as self-entitlement, a sense of authority and vanity are becoming more endemic in today’s society. Through highlighting, amplifying and manipulating specific narcissistic traits, the question becomes – can critical design be used as a tool to confront the issues and negative undercurrent associated with narcissism, prompting a shift in social understanding of the increase of narcissism within the possible future? By locating narcissistic issues within an everyday context in a novel yet accessible way, critical design enables individual users to explore the deep ethical and social issues associated with narcissism within their own lives. This excites internal confrontation and reflection, stimulating the individual’s curiosity and perspective of narcissistic reality. As a consequence of increasing engagement with social media, it is suggested that the line between objects of reflection and objects of representation are being blurred. Resulting in a constant state of reflection, understanding and interaction with public and private realities are obscured. Through the critical design of everyday objects which incite the confrontation of internal reflection, a deeper understanding and acceptance of narcissism within society is stimulated.