The Designs That Speak To Us

I’m not sure if this is an autism thing or if it’s how I’d be if I weren’t on the spectrum, but I can get obsessed with the design of things: I can’t tell you how many toy spaceships I’ve bought through the years (and continue to display several of in my home), and I at one point owned both a Fender Stratocaster and an Epihone Les Paul guitar (despite being able to play not a single note).

I think a reasonable person—and I expect most of us don’t have advanced training in architecture, industrial design, or other applicable fields—could look at these objects and understand how someone could find them to be beautiful to another, even if not to herself. But another side I’ve discovered to my nerdy/autistic/whatever is an attraction to interesting-looking bags and backpacks. There’s a style of bag called a sackpack that’s repeatedly caught my eye around the gym. I’ve grabbed one off of Amazon since starting to look into them, and that after having gotten a clearance deal elsewhere on a weird duffel bag/backpack hybrid.

Each of these bags I have a specific and exclusive use for—travel vs. gym (a gym bag I made in 7th grade home ec remains tasked to my uniforms and tools for my weekly Japanese sword class)—but it remains a situation that exists because something about these designs reached out to me.

So: is this autism? Certainly NT folk have those “gotta have it” encounters with things…does autism make me more aware of them, or simply drive me to think more on the reasons behind them, or seek more satisfying reason why that should be? What are the sorts of designs that drive you?



One thought on “The Designs That Speak To Us

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  1. Interesting! My autistic son is very much driven by design. Ever since I can remember, he has taken things apart to know the inner workings. But, rather than collecting, he likes designing. He does amazing things with K’nex, for example-rarely ever anything out of the instruction books but his own ideas. Me? I like the designs of antiques-particularly unusual pieces of furniture and knick-knacks.


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