Design Ah’s Unendurable Line provides a unique exploration of the concepts of thresholds in everyday life. Presented as a split screen, the right side of the screen depicts an every day, almost banal action, such as turning on a light switch. The left side of the screen is a graph, representing the actions presented on the right side as movements in relation to the threshold line. Both of the screens are undeniably sterile and scientific looking, the actual video side presented against a blue background with no distractions or breaks from the action. The right side could almost be interchangeable for an old infomercial.
The two screens are linked not only by their data analysis but also by composer Fukushima Yasuharu EX NOVO Chamber Choir. As each spring, light switch, or other object reaches its threshold line, the choir emulates this tension in accordance with the action. For instance, the steady rise of the light switch is accompanied by the steady rise of the choir. For something that doesn’t operate as smoothly, like the water filling the bamboo pipe, the chorus switches to a more appropriate staccato approach.
Design Ah is a Japanese educational television program focused on highlighting the fun and interesting viewpoints of science and design. Though it is a Japanese show, Unendurable Line has no dialogue, written or verbal, and can thus be enjoyed by all.