Overwhelmed by digital, consumers turn back toward products and experiences that they can touch, feel and sense to deliver a much needed sense of calm, simplicity and humanity.*
We’re really good at putting things in boxes and missing the interplay between everything.**
Tangability is our ability to engage in and interact with our environments in increasingly tangible ways.
Ben Hardy writes about how this is what has led to greatness emerging in people’s lives:
‘Necessity […] is the single most important ingredient in the formula for greatness – not a particular individual’s brilliance or a lone leader’s vision.’**
I have heard this described as a person’s discontent – something in their environment they must do something about, whether small or large. I connect it with Wallace Stevens’ pressure of reality to which we bring our best imagining – requiring we notice the very thing we may be undervaluing or trying to ignore. We then are not only shaped by our environments but potentially become shapers of our environments.
If who we are is a disappointment then we have to change our environments:
‘Most people are living small, not because they lack the inherent talent, but because their situation isn’t demanding enough.’**
Our talents are the ways of thinking, relating, influencing and behaving with our environments and they can be grown and developed. Identifying these is one way in which we become more aware of our environment’s paucity or fecundity. They lead us into the tangible.
Where these things connect with Rohit Bhargava’s perceived trend for 2018 of “Touchworthiness” (defined above) is in how people are increasing creating or choosing products or experiences for physical interaction. Not the sexual kind but things like making slime, gravity blankets and therapy pets.
Our environments are replete with tangible experiences and our talents offer us countless clues to what these are. As John O’Donohue reflects:
‘Surrounding the intention and the act of beginning, there are always exciting possibilities. This inevitably excites artists. So much can actually happen between the moment the brush is taken into the hand and the moment it touches the canvas.’^