Peddler: Design for Generosity
Peddler is a propositional piece of public furniture that provides users with the ability to charge low-powered (5-volt) USB gadgets using self-generated energy. It is a device that is posited as a free city-utility and as a result, is located in Melbourne’s central, shared urban realm: the CBD. Peddler recognizes the increasing importance of handheld devices in contemporary society, and its seemingly trivial function is underpinned by a critical analysis on the evolving role of technology and the changing dynamic between the individual, the city, and the mobile phone.
In response, it considers the potential for design to feed into and nurture generous environments: spaces that imbue a feeling of warmth and which are fostered by caring and giving communities. It is hoped that through these environments the user is able to feel a sense of connectedness, whilst still being afforded the agency to self-determine a comfortable level of interaction. Fundamentally, Peddler is a project that addresses the shifting attitudes towards connectivity (digital and social), the increasing importance of self-actualisation in contemporary culture, and the role of design to both anticipate and address the minor problems faced by the individual as well as the collective whole.