Imagine being on a conference dinner. It had been an interesting but long day. Drinks are flowing and the only thing in between you and the dessert is the obligatory speech, a ceremony, something … Who cares? We dined to big bands and slept through hour long speeches about the 750 years of achievements in discipline A, B or C. It is part of the game. Maybe a perfect moment to sneak out to give the loved ones a call or simply visit the toilet. So you check the escape route. Damn. You need to pass closely behind the speaker. Impossibly rude. So you better give in to fate. Tune into the talk.
Marco is about to announce the winner of the Design & Emotion Societies’ Slow Glow Award. Actually an award where the award in itself is desirable. A lamp by Droog. A glass bubble full of fat, slowly melting through the heat of the light source embedded into it, glowing amber, changing color and brightness in this process. The bubble gets warm. As the designers say “a lamp to hug.” Personally, you like hugging. This time you’ve managed to hug a good share of colleagues on the conference, since the Dutch are great huggers and cheek kissers, too. Ah, and BTW, a night in the Droog-Hotel would be nice. But you are daydreaming again. Back to the laudatory speech …
“… a he or she, no a he, does user experience for ages …” Oh, Don is here? Haven’t seen him yet. “… wrote a book on Experience Design …” Come on, who didn’t? “… Combines a background in psychology with a love for interaction design …” Hey, somebody lifted sentences from my short bio. It’s unbelievable. They not only shamelessly lift references from papers, but even bits and pieces from bios these days “… and the award goes to Marc Hassenzahl …” They even STEAL your name!!!!
And then you realize: “OMG, Marco is talking about me.” They cannot possibly do this to me. Without any warning! It’s all deliberate. Steven designed it, I’m sure. The committee said “Let’s give the price to Marc” and Steven slowly nodded along, growling in a low voice: “Yeah, but let’s make it … (a pause and a dirty chuckle) … RICH for him!”
You succeeded. I will certainly never forget this moment and I am truly grateful for that. Thank you Design & Emotion Society and all the real people behind this label.
A last remark: While I will certainly not share the Slow Glow Lamp with anybody, the very idea of the award needs to be shared among all the people I worked with. So feel hugged you co-authors, friends and facilitators out there. You all just got an award!