The Objectness of Objects

Significant Objects is a literary and anthropological experiment founded by social culture critic, and Design Observer contributor, Rob Walker, “whose first two phases ran from July 2009 through October 2010, demonstrated that the effect of narrative on any given object’s subjective value can be measured objectively.” It is also soon to be a book.

Studio360 recently did a segment about the project —  and announced its own object-inspired short-story contest.

“Basically I helped Kurt Andersen pick three objects from a thrift store (a Marlboro thermos, a creepy figurine, and an inexplicable wood ‘tool’),” Walker told me, “and now they’re inviting listeners to invent fictional stories about each one — basically using these objects as story prompts. This week they included some entry excerpts on-air. The winners also get the objects, which is a nice touch. Contest link here.”

Now Walker says “I’m spreading the word, because I love that they’re doing this. (I also wrote about why I think this sort of exercise has value, here.)” The deadline for entries is April 8.


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