Aspirational objects

When Ikea recently launched Space10, an experimental design lab based in Copenhagen that gathers creatives from around the world to seek out and solve urban living problems. CIID was part of their first project, called Fresh Living Lab, a project that was carried out in collaboration with 12 young talents from CIID and with support from IKEA.

During this project, I was advising and helping the students with their concepts and the first low fidelity prototypes. Later for the exhibition at Space10, I build higher fidelity prototypes of the concepts.

The biggest challenge with building these prototypes was that they were supposed to be exhibited and functioning, for eight weeks. Therefore I had to take repairability into account, all the prototypes should also be self-contained and self-adjusting/calibrating to not demand any complicated start-up procedures.
The prototypes that I build for the exhibition are as follows.

Heat Harvest

a table that uses thermoelectricity to capture wasted heat and convert it into electricity. It exploits basic physics, putting to use the fact that temperature differences between two surfaces can generate electricity.


Cloud Burst

a smart faucet that gently reminds users when they have used more water in the shower than they intended.



a small, modular device that can be installed beside windows throughout the home. It monitors indoor and outdoor air quality with inbuilt sensors and draws live weather data from the Internet. After taking these different variables into account, Vāyu devices open and close windows with a small lever, thereby adjusting indoor air quality when needed.



a smart chair that discourages sedentary lifestyles in a simple yet effective way: it is impossible to sit on if you have already been sitting for longer than is healthy that day. How does it know? The user’s movements are tracked through their mobile phone or wearables and transmitted continuously to the chair.

If you get home and the seat is raised, the chair seems to be saying, “You need to move a little more”. Of course placing the seat back in its normal position can easily be done, but doing so requires you to make the deliberate decision to stay seated despite not having been active enough that day.



An artwork that changes according to the user’s use of water and heat. If the user doesn’t hit targets for keeping down their resource use, the colours drain from the artwork.




Date: 19. december 2015

Categories: Arduino / Audio / Connected objects / Physical computing / Prototyping