visual voltage exhibition at design vlaanderen, brussels visual voltage exhibition at design vlaanderen, brussels
sep 07, 2009

visual voltage exhibition at design vlaanderen, brussels

visual voltage exhibtion design vlaanderen, brussels september 11th – october 25th

visual voltage is an exhibition which explores the use of energy through smart design. the show is meant to give insight into electricity, energy consumption and environmental issues. the projects on show are all developed by swedish designers and artists, expressing their creative roles as a means to generate awareness and debates on essential issues such as sustainability and energy consumption, shedding new light on how we use electricity. the exhibition is one of the expos which is part of design september brussels 2009 which runs from september 10th to october 2nd, 2009.

energy aware clock by loove broms, karin ehrnberger, sara ilstedt hjelm, erika lundell, jin moen, 2006 – 2008 image courtesy of interactive institute

the energy aware clock is designed to make you aware of your energy consumption on a daily basis. the clock visualizes the daily energy rhythms of the household and reminds us of the ordinary kitchen clock in its form, place and use. the clock indicates electrical use of its environment in real time.

the device is hung on your wall like a normal clock, and can read the electricity being used in the space where it is situated image courtesy of interactive institute

image by per erik adamsson

power aware cord by anton gustafsson, magnus gyllenswärd, sara ilstedt hjelm, christina öhman in collaboration with thinlight AB, 2004-2006 image courtesy of carl dahlstedt

this power cord has been designed to visualize the energy of the current use of electricity of appliances connected with it through glowing pulses, flow and intensity of light. it can be used as a tool for people to rediscover energy in their homes as well as having an ambient display of their consumption that they can see at any given time.

image courtesy of carl dahlstedt

the power cord provides an ambient display of light image courtesy of carl dahlstedt

the cord illuminates a dark space image courtesy of interactive institute

energy curtain by anders ernevi, margot jacobs, ramia mazé, carolin müller, johan redström, linda worbin, 2004-2006 image courtesy of interactive institute

the energy curtain reinterprets our familiar relation to curtains as a means of controlling light in a room. the curtain must be drawn shut in order to collect light, and the amount and duration in which it is drawn during the day determines how much light is collected for the night. it gives users the choice as to whether to open the curtain and enjoy the day light, or close it and save energy for later. even through the mundane act of opening or closing the curtain embodies the trade-off between consuming and conserving energy.

it’s up to you to decide whether you want to let in the sunlight, or close the curtain and save the energy for later image courtesy of carl dahlstedt

image courtesy of carl dahlstedt

flower lamp by sofia lagerkvist, charlotte von der lancken, anna lindgren, katja sävström, göran nordahl technical modifications by: anton gustafsson, fredrik kronqvist, 2004-2006 image courtesy of interactive institute

the shape of the flower lamp responds to the amount of electricity being used in the household. with a decrease in usage, the flower lamp slowly opens up and appears as if its ‘blooming’. on the contrary, if energy consumption increases, the lamp closes into a closed cylindrical form, which also effects the quality of light emitted. in order to make the flower lamp more beautiful, a collective change in behaviour is needed.

the flower lamp blooms when you decrease your household electrical use image courtesy of interactive institute

aware laundry lamp by loove broms, karin ehrnberger, sara ilstedt hjelm, erika lundell, jin moen, 2006-2008 image courtesy of per erik adamsson

this device combines laundry drying rack with lamp. it is an attempt to marry positive symbols and activities like air drying your clothes in the sun, with designing your own lampshade. switching on the lamp if the rack is indoors, helps dry clothes faster as well as adding a certain type of ambiance to the room. through this feature, the design is commenting on the fact that 95 percent of electricity used in a traditional light bulb is transfered to heat and only 5 percent is actually light.

  • Have I missed something? A cord that creates light to show you how much energy your using – that uses more energy..?

    How is that a good idea – opposed to a device you can plug in, giving you a real number you can actually use to budget your energy usage? Stupid idea.

    The rest of the ideas are again form over function, I mean a lamp with wet clothes hanging on it? BANG!

    The only actually interesting idea here is the clock showing energy usage – although the icons on the wall are a little misleading – is it the type of device or the time the energy is being used it’s actually showing? But, again, there are is no real information produced on energy usage, just pretty pictures..

    Stupid ideas says:
  • I disagree, these are a great range of ideas that illustrate how we can become aware of all the energy we use. Normally we take energy for granted but if it shows it some how in a product, I think it will change our habits.

    Nathaniel Deevs says:
  • Awesome! I especially like the clock.

    Renee Zelder says:
  • RE: Stupid ideas I don’t think these are just pretty pictures. Clearly alot of time has been invested for the designers to figure just how they can illustrate and make people aware of the amount of energy they actually use for certain products.

    Jone Reiner says:
  • The blinds are cool – very imaginative.

    Zac says:
  • good post,I think so!

    jiji says:
  • We think that Europeans are more sustainable than we are, and maybe they are, but not by much. How much embedded energy is there in each of these devices? How do they liberate us from the same technology that sinks us? How much do they contribute to our humanity? Especially if they continue to separate us from nature.
    They create needs where there are none just so that someone can make money on us.

    eduardo says:
  • You’re right Eduardo, as well as Stupid Ideas.

    Nathaniel is missing the point, greatly. It is important to make a difference between what a designer thinks of, and how the device eventually is used. A cord that emits glowing blue light will be regarded as pretty and nice, and not alarming and something you want to prevent. It is rather stimulating energy use than limiting. Quite obvious.

    It’s a shame that so many people here and on other blogs react so positively on designs and concepts that try to make people aware of their consumption, and those that try to be more harmonious with nature, while in most cases they totally fail to do so. As long as it is ‘a nice idea’ or ‘a cool design’, you all trip over each other to hail the design and designer. I thought we had already passed the ‘as long as the design is pretty and cool, I’m satisfied’ phase… 🙁

    MJW says:

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