Making Everyday Futures Workshop: Electricity Thief

Over three days in July 2017, the second meeting of the Everyday Futures Network took place in the Wearable Senses Lab, Industrial Design Department, Eindhoven University of Technology. The specific aim of the Workshop was to enable Network members from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to experience and develop methods of making as a way of doing research.

The workshop was based on three propositions:

  1. Future everyday life is certain to be different from today.
  2. Making and deploying new artefacts forms a distinct approach to exploring and developing knowledge about this future and how it gets made.
  3. Even though futures might require and witness systemic change, it is in altered everyday lives that such change is realised and experienced.

I (Robin) teamed up with Ramyah Gowrishankar to tackle the problem of electricity's ungraspable nature. We started off with the following question:

What if… we could engage with electricity in a tangible way?

Electricity Thief

Electricity plays a crucial role in facilitating our (future) daily activities. Yet, it is one of our most taken-for-granted resources. Humans cannot sense electricity; to compensate, our research artefact interacts with the electricity we use in our homes every day.

The Electricity Thief ‘travels’ around the home, rubbing against surfaces, and ‘grows’ slowly by converting ambient electricity into movement and inflation. Imagine a family in the near future discussing why the Electricity Parasite grew so large in the living room – the artefact triggers engagement the electricity as a resource which is always present around us.

Curious to learn more about the Electricity Thief? Find a full description and more photo's from the workshop here: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/everydayfutures/files/2017/10/Gowrishankar-and-Smale-2017-The-Electricity-Thief.pdf

Find the full collection of artefact blogs here: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/everydayfutures/resources/artefact-blogs/

 the Electricity thief in action

the Electricity thief in action