Yi-Fei Chen designs a gun for firing her tears

This design was on display at the Dutch Design Week. The designer was influenced by her experiences growing up in a strict and authoritative education system, in which she felt like she was unable to resist her teachers and other higher-ups. She was taught that disagreeing with authority was rude. Then, when she moved to foreign country, she had difficulty questioning her teachers. She then visualized this struggle into this gun that collects her tears and fires them out. I thought that this design related to the topic of “critical design” that was discussed in the readings. Here, the Chen is using design to express her personal struggles and the cultural/emotional shock that many people go through when adjusting to a new environment. The design itself has a pessimistic feel, but it uses negativity in a way that sheds light on topics of mental health and wellness.

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