To commemorate Disegno’s fifth birthday, nine designers were invited to update the ritual of toasting for contemporary society. The result, published in Disegno magazine, was a series of new typologies of communal celebration that blend function, ritual, symbolism and social critique. This app’ is Sebastian Bergne’s response to the brief.
The phenomenon of social media is incredible and its power is undeniable. People engage with social media and enjoy speaking online so toasting digitally feels like a logical extension of that. You might start by connecting with friends, which is the way social media always starts, but that can lead you on to hook up with people who you don’t know. That kind of spontaneous connection is what we need at the moment given what’s been going on in the world.
Unison is a natural extension of sitting around a table and making a toast, which makes it enormously powerful. It’s not that toasting would die out otherwise, but by having an application in the digital realm, you give the act of toasting a relevance and bring it in line with contemporary culture. Maybe it will take on a different form entirely, one that isn’t about the drink. Maybe there’s a small physical action related to the act of drinking. It’s about marking a specific moment and getting everyone to do something simultaneously, no matter the timezone.
Toasting is still better face to face, this is why Unison is an extension rather than a digital replacement. You can have physical groups join up with different physical groups through the app. You could use it with friends that you can’t see because of geographical constraints or you could come into contact with new, interesting people. It’s about celebrating good, positive things that happen. You create an event, but somehow make it specific. It’s the swiss army knife versus the kitchen knife: having something specific to do a job often makes it better. It’s an approach to products that I like.
This is an extract from Disegno, read the full article here
Illustration by Liam Cobb.
Published in Disegno #12, 2017