Portable Effects

1988-2000… 100-some video portraits + an interactive installation at the Exploratorium.

Once upon an expedition to Japan in 1984, Strickland encountered expressions of a culture that’s enormously sophisticated in the ways of folding, stacking, rolling, nesting, carrying, miniaturizing, and transforming things. Transporting that inspiration and proceeding to unpack it several years later, Portable Effects is a video anthropology project that investigates people’s design of the miniature environments we carry with us—in pockets, backpacks, briefcases, and handbags. Between setting forth in the morning and returning home at night, every person lives nomadically for a portion of each day. You can’t take everything with you—neither in your backpack nor in your head. Identifying essentials, figuring out how to contain, arrange and keep track of them as you go, are instances of design thinking. Portable Effects has been supported by Apple Computer, the National Endowment for the Arts, Interval Research Corporation, and the San Francisco Exploratorium.

Download text » Portable Effects: A Survey of Nomadic Design Practice, 1997

Learn more about the museum exhibit » www.portablefx.com

Doreen Nelson 1988 Play Video

Doreen Nelson 1988

Michael Attie 1988 Play Video

Michael Attie 1988

Wanda Coleman 1988 Play Video

Wanda Coleman 1988

Alan Kay 1990 Play Video

Alan Kay 1990

Betty Hauck 1989 Play Video

Betty Hauck 1989

Thelma Gehry 1989 Play Video

Thelma Gehry 1989

Joanna Pfeiffer 1990 Play Video

Joanna Pfeiffer 1990

Henry Rose 1990 Play Video

Henry Rose 1990

David Faron 1990 Play Video

David Faron 1990

Jill Wright 1990 Play Video

Jill Wright 1990

Jill Wright secret bags 1990 Play Video

Jill's secret bags 1990

Michael Shore 1991 Play Video

Michael Shore 1991

David York 1991 Play Video

David York 1991

Jennifer Gonzalez 1994 Play Video

Jennifer Gonzalez 1994

Philip Morrison 1994 Play Video

Philip Morrison 1994

Phylis Morrison 1994 Play Video

Phylis Morrison 1994

William Bagnell 1995 Play Video

William Bagnell 1995

Esther Gokhale 1995 Play Video

Esther Gokhale 1995

Noëlle Perez and Esther and Miguel 1995 Play Video

Noëlle Perez & Esther & Miguel 1995

Tom Bihn 1995 Play Video

Tom Bihn 1995

Ralph Caplan 1995 Play Video

Ralph Caplan 1995

Judith Leiber 1995 Play Video

Judith Leiber 1995

Richard Martin 1995 Play Video

Richard Martin 1995

Sean Flaherty 1995 Play Video

Sean Flaherty 1995

Allan Rivera 1995 Play Video

Allan Rivera & Tasha & Isabel 1995

Peter Jensen 1995 Play Video

Peter Jensen 1995

Rebecca Reilly 1995 Play Video

Rebecca Reilly 1995

Walter Humphries 1997 Play Video

Walter Humphries 1997

Fred Sangris 1997 Play Video

Fred Sangris 1997

Dont Forget Your Stuff Play Video

Exploratorium installation 1997