Are you tough?

I have an overwhelming feeling that cultures where people are encouraged to be ‘tough’ will necessarily create inferior products.

As usual, maybe this is just pattern matching.

Currently I am spending time in the north-western part of India – my hometown. And from insides of a house to the public spaces, most experiences seem a bit ‘broken’.

When I point this out to someone the response seems to be – you have to be tough, this is how it is.

In this culture there is also a strong sense of ‘boys don’t cry’.

I can see the appeal of wanting to be tough, being a man of steel, and such. But we are humans, we are soft and mushy. Apart from our bones every element of the human body is… soft. And the bones have mush inside them.

And we are full of hopes dreams feelings and emotions. We are not made of steel. Even wanting to be strong is the desire of a vulnerable person.

Designers and makers, when they ignore our emotions, create products and experiences which are cold, hard, inhuman and ugly.

And then everyone who undergoes the experiences pays the cost without realizing it.

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