Continuing our coverage of the 2010 Mitsubishi Chemical Junior Designer Awards…

The award for honorable mention was like an unexpected visit from an old friend. We featured Takuya Motte’s neck camera, “Vision” during our coverage of student work at Kobe Design University about 1 year ago.  So it was nice to see the piece progress this far!

The neck camera, which was co-developed with the University, is a working model. You drape the camera strap around your neck and images are recorded by the simple act of creating a picture frame using your hands like this (Photo: Oliver Strewe/Lonely Planet). Not only is it a beautiful looking product, it poses some interesting questions about our relationship with photography, as well as gadgets, for that matter.

In his seminal essay on photography, John Berger writes:

Photographs bear witness to a human choice being exercised in a given situation. A photograph is a result of the photographer’s decision that it is worth recording that this particular event or this particular object has been seen. … At its simplest the [photograph], decoded, means: I have decided that seeing this is worth recording.

Although we don’t always look at a photograph and think, “ah, human choice,” Takuya Motte’s neck camera has the potential for making us far more aware of our actions as photographers. Not only will we be more conscious of the act of recording, but we will take pleasure in the process, our surroundings and our current conditions far more than we ever have.

It’s interface is also worth considering as it is a significant step forward in blurring the lines between human and mechanic relations. What was once a very mechanical process can now be accomplished through a very natural human gesture. Although I imagine it would be quite awkward at first, I would love to try it out to see what it’s actually like. I have a strong feeling this is not the last we will see of the “Vision” neck camera.