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ECAL: Delirious Home

A playful look at our relationship with electronics in a modern dwelling

by Karen Day in Design on 09 April 2014

As one of the world's top design universities, it comes as no surprise that the Industrial Design and Media and Interaction Design students from Lausanne's ECAL would wow the crowd in Milan with their creative prowess. But their group exhibition, aptly entitled "Delirious Home," brilliantly showcases how the design principles they learned in school can be humorously applied to the future of the seamlessly connected, technologically advanced dwelling. With the mission to make tech friendly and to add a sense of humanness to the smart home, the group collectively shows how to add a welcome element of surprise in the predictive relationship we are creating with the electronics in our home. From voodoo chairs to mechanical curtains, here are a few highlights from this brief but utterly interactive display, which those in Milan should not miss this week. See these projects and others through Sunday, 13 April 2014 at Via dell’Orso 16.

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Mr Time

Stand in front of this giant clock and move your arms up and down. The hands will follow suit, imitating your form from a Y-shape to a low V and almost any movement in between. "Mr Time" is the work of design students Léa Pereyre, Claire Pondard and Tom Zambaz.

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Voodoo

Surprise your houseguests with a seat in Megan Elisabeth Dinius, Timothée Fuchs, Antoine Furstein and Bastien Girschig's "Voodoo" armchair. One chair serves as the leader, and whatever movements are made by the sitter are reflected in the other chair. Roll your butt around or jump in your seat to secretly send massage-like vibrations for a "participatory tête-à-tête."

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Broken Mirror

Guillaume Markwalder and Aurélia von Allmen created a "Broken Mirror" that channels the sentiments of Jiffy Pop; the surface is slightly crinkled when no one is there, and then quickly becomes taut when a person stands in front of it.

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Bonnie & Clyde

In "Bonnie & Clyde" an espresso cup and spoon are never apart. Through the magic of magnets, the spoon will follow the cup, avoiding any obstacles along the way. The inseparable pair were created by Romain Cazier, Anna Heck and Leon Laskowski.

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Chiaroscuro

Lamps that illuminate by the sense of touch are rendered pedestrian with Claire Pondard and Tom Zambaz's "Chiaroscuro" lights. The hanging pendants cast shadows on the walls, which also serve as the switch; just reach up and when your fingers hit the silhouette, the light is turned on. The potential for an interactive party with strobe light effects is reason enough to make this a common household system.

Il Portinaio

Anne-Sophie Bazard, Tristan Caré and Léonard Golay have created a humorous mechanical curtain with "Il Portinaio." The mechanical hand at the top senses when and where a person has approached, and will automatically pull the curtain back to lead you through.

Images courtesy of ECAL

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