environment creating an opportunity to reconligure it to suit our 'illegitimate' needs, establishing new and unofficial narratives. Some people already exploit the potentially subversive possibilities of this parallel world of illicit pleasures stolen from commodified experience. They seek out (&)user-friendly products that lend themselves to imaginative possibilities for short-circuiting thecombinatorial limits suggested by electronic products.This rangesfrom terrorists fashioning bombs and weapons out of mundane

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escape normalisation and ensure that even a totally manufactured environment has room for danger, adventure and transgression. We don't think that design can ever fully anticipate the richness of this unofficial world and neither should it. But it can draw inspiration from it and develop new design approaches and roles so that ar our new environment evolves, there is stillscope for rich and complex

already know about people, and weave new idea into existing realities. The resultingscenarios extend pre-existent reality into the future and so reinforce the status quo rather than challenging it. Their slick produced to show us what the future could be like, design works to keep officialvalues in place.

Beta-testers have learnt how to derive enjoyment from electronic materiality, from rejecting the material realities on offer and constructing their own. They display a level of pleasure in customisation currently limited to home DNand custom car hobbyists. Many specialist magazines and booksare already available that show readers how to modify or hveakeveryday electronic products. Most of them are a little technical, but only because knowledge of electronics is still not ar common ar other forms of practical know-how. After all, an ever-growing number of home improvement magazines and TV programmes thrive on the pleasure people get from modifying their environments themselves- of customising reality. Maybe in the future we will see popular electronics magazines that show us how to turn our mobile phones into eavesdropping devices in three easy steps?

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their scanners are conliscated. Many of these stories illustrate the nanative space entered by using and Consumers ar anti-heroes: some cautionary tales The almost unbelievable stories reported in newspapers testify to the unpredictable potential of human beings to establish new situations despite the constraints on everyday life imposed through electronic objects. We are interested in people who have assimilated electronic technologies so fully into their lives that they feel comfortabledoing things others would thinkof as almost too sacred or highly charged for technology. These individuals can be thought ofar sad, bared on the view that playing out deeply human narratives through technological objects is degrading and inferior to more traditional media. Or they can be seen as early adopters, able to find meaning and recognise the potential of new technologies for supporting complex human emotions and desires. Teenagers are now using their mobile phones to intimidate each 0ther.A new form of bullying has emerged since Christmas 1999, when a huge number of teenagers in Britain received pre-paid mobile phones ar gifts. Earlier in the year, a 15-year-oldwar driven to suicide after receiving up to 20 silent calls in halfan hour. The teenager left a suicide text message on her mobile phone the night before she died. The fact that her suicide note war in the form of a text message rather than handwritten will seem even more tragic to some, but to this girl text messages played a more vital role in her life than letters.
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Amateur subversions and beta-testers When an object's use is subverted, it is ar though the protagonist is cheating the system and deriving more pleasure than is his or her due. The subversion of function relates to a breakdown of order; something else becomes visible, unnameable, unable to find a correspondence in the material world. This subversion of function is related to not being able to find the right word, leading to the coining of neologisms that bend language toaccommodate something new. Desire leads toasubversion of the

i I i 1 . Another distressing example is that ofthe 16-year-old E 1. where stories show that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.As asociety we are struggling to define and communicate the safe use of new media to teenagers lust as I we have developedmodels of safe behaviour for the street and for dealing with strangers In cars. /I When objects dream . It is easy to criticise people who watch so much TI! but tn many ways this form of happiness shows what might be in store for the r a t of us as society becomes even more 1 other people because of technology.. A more humorous example is the man ~nAustralia who married his TV During the ceremony. Before the advent of telwision and the web. and prove that our experience ofeveryday day lifelived through conventional electronic products is aesthetically impoverished. I ' matter of time before purely text-based romancing matures asa genre of its own. they push our relationship with the medium of electronic technology to thelimit. they might have been loncly. They are cautionary tales. . they have found happiness with technolgy instead. It is not that these technolog~es in themselves harmful. it is are their use and misuse that weneed to understand. Products could offer more complex and demanding aesthetic experiences if designers referred to this bizarre world of the 'infra-ordinary'.. This is despite the design of the products: in fact there is acontmt behveen the banal design of many electronic products and the extreme misuses they are subjected to. we will have to do so for phonesand computers. Maybe these obsessivebehaviours provide glimpses ofa future where electronic products have been fuliy assimilated into everyday culture and our psyche. he placed Ii he watched up to ten hours aday.

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the disproportionately high incidence of leukaemia in children living near the transmitter site, in ,,,arch 2001 the Italian Environment Minister charged three senior officials of the radio station with ~talian on electromagnetic emissions. The Vatican denied causinga health hazard, and laws only agreed to reduce the number oftransmissions as a goodwill gesture after the government threatened to cut offthe electricity supply to its radio station. As the Vatican enjoys the legal status of an independent city-state, its lawyers also claimed immunity from Italian laws in this case, and argued that the station's emission levels did comply with the less stringent international standards. This fusion of religious content, electromagnetic space, health concerns and government regulations is a particularly colourfulexample of struggles occurring all over the developedworld between large corporations, governments and increasingly concerned citizens. ~h~ rapid expansion of uses for the electromagnetic spectrum has resulted in a new form of pollution, or electrosmog. Many different organisations exist to raise awareness of these issues, from the official, like the FEB (The Swedish Association for the Electro-sensitive) to the grassroots, like the EMFGuru website. Thereare also specialist centres such as the Breakspear Hospital in England, which specialises intreatingenvironmenhl illnesses, including hypersensitivity to electromagnetic fields. But much of the information available on the effects of electromagnetic pollution is quite technical and difficultto understand. Powerlines (1997). apoetic documentary film by Helen Hall, uses dance and music to the mystery of electromagnetic fields, the promise of new energy, and the dangers of electromagnetic pollution. It is an artistic interpretation of a scientific area and introduces the topic to anaudience who otherwise might be alienated by the technical subject matter. Located on the edge of a global electronic culture, it explores the shifts beginning to occur in the ways we relate to our environment, especially when we have to move beyond our senses: 'As the environment becomes flooded with electromagnetic radiation, all our senses are swamped with energy and information. While the entire world becomes electrified we are being overloaded by avast world of electronic images, lights, and sounds, as huge amounts of information travel around the world at the speed of lightand interact with the millions ofelectrical processes in every living cell of our

The hertzian landscape even has its own natural preserves. In the US, West Virginia state legislature uses the Radio Astronomy Zoning Act to create a National Radio Quite Zone. This 13,000 square mile area is designed to be an electromagnetic sanctuary, relatively free from electromagnetic pollution. Situated close to the state border between Virginiaand West Virginia, the zone is shielded from the nearest city by a mountain range, there are no high-powered radio or TVstations nearby and only a few electric power transmission lines pass through the landscape. Commercial airlines do not fly overhead, so there are no radar signals, and heavy trucks and buses are only allowed to pass on the other side of the mountains. TheNRQZ was established by the Federal Communications Commission in 1958 to minimise the risk of interference to theNational Radio Astronomy Observatory located at Green Bank. Thearea is also home to listening post run by the US Navyat Sugar Grove, which was once intended to be the site for the world's biggest bug. Even today, the area is still shrouded in secrecy.

Helen H a l l , from t h e s c r i p t of Powerlines. The uncertainty about the effects of electro-pollution has resulted in aplethora of companies producing and selling protective devices, many ofwhich seem highly unscientific. One company called LessEMF manufactures and sells protective underwear via the internet under the category of personal protection

-----------------------------------------------------------Electronic objects are disembodied machines with extended invisible skins. They couple and decouple with our bodies without us knowing. Working on microscopic scales, often pathogenic, many electromagnetic fields interfere with the cellular structure of the body. Paranoia accompanies dealings with such hertzian machines. How do they touch us? Do they merely reflect off our skin, or the surface ofour internal organs? In other words, do they merely 'see' us, or can they 'read' us too, extracting personal information about our identity, status, and health? Vatican Radio broadcasts the Pope's speeches and events to the furthest corners of the world in 40 languagesviaa forest of 58 antennae located at Santa Maria di Galeria near Rome. Following concern at

'Gain control of your inner environment-very sheer, comfortable undergarments you can wear over your regular underwear to shield yourself from powerline and computer electric fields, and microwave. radar, and TV radiation. This silver-plated, stretchable, washable nylon mesh is electrically conductive. It reflects radiation. Plus you won't get those static shocks as you used to in dry weather and your clothes won't cling to you1 Fabric provides up to 35 dB of shielding at 10OMHz. Made in USA. Surround what you want to protect!'
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. the only visible indication of its existence is a taped rectangle marking the functional limits of the phone jammer.. mine and yours. a . Not just by finding new ways of exploiting the electromagnetic spectwm as a medium. a new place to dream. designers and architects need to explore them too... revealing unexpected points of contact between them.... using a selection of designed parts and a set of c o n s t ~ c t i o n guidelines.. public and private. utilising electromagneticshielding materials throughout the structure... objects and aesthetic possibilities.. they work by generatinga radio signal that prevents the telephone from communicating with a base station.. but to completely shield our homes is a luxury only the rich could afford. the lace used for the curtains was checked to ensure the holes were of a suitable dimension to shield against short wave radio waves.. The complexity and specificity of these spaces show just how difficult it is to create fully-shielded environments... away from the constant bombardment by the radiation of telecommunications. Although a design proposal. This project very clearly demonstrates the environmental qualities of electromagnetic fields: when somebody steps inside the taped boundary.. When the electromagnetic shelter is set up. In order to prevent electronic eavesdropping.. These objects and materials could be defined as 'radiogenic'. or fapdes.26 . His project proposes a new settlement populated by radio enthusiasts broadcasting opinions and (dis)information from avery dense site in Berlin. which protect broadcasters from the electromagnetic waves generated... j Faraday cage.. Immaterial sensuality As a result of these changing notions and shifting boundaries. example. breaking into everyday life through products that shape and transform the verysame media.. A differentapproach to shelters was explored by another architect... There is something poetic about the ideaofa ghost existing in a magnetic medium. but electronic-free space.. His Faraday Curtains consist of readily available domestic net curtains soaked in clear resin before being vacuum metalicised with copper.. In the true spirit of radio hams. p. we used a conductive ceramic coating to shield the occupant. thereby losing its connection with the network.. We just do not know what the real effects ofthe new space that has been constructed are. The challenge today is not to create electronicspace.. The UK distributor for these devices requires government approval before one c n be sold... For instance. It is as though they have stepped into an invisible shelter that prevents telephone signals from penetrating its walls.. Lawyers.... TVs and the telephonesystem rather than hallways and cellars.. In City of Fapdes (2001)..... The extent of hertzian space is reflected in the difficultyof finding electromagnetically unpolluted parts of the globe as sites for intelligence gathering 'antenna farms'and the use of Faraday cages to create 'empty' zero-field spaces for isolating sensitive equipment. the city is to be assembled by its inhabitants themselves... Using a jammer constitutes a form of trespass. The city's fabric consists of a layering of protective surfaces. Pedro Sepulveda-Sandoval.. acknowledging the need for privacy and homeliness while providing psychological and physical protection from electromagnetic fields.. Antenna test-sites and other specially designed technical environments like anechoic chambers are used to measure an object's 'leakiness' in order to predict its effect on other objects. modified to filter out electromagnetic fields.. this shielding technology. video players.. either reflecting energy. This fusion of the immaterial and sensual can generate some intriguingsituations.. as part for Faraday Chair (1998). criminals and the superstitious are already aware of these issues. a whole host of technologies.through the magnetic fields and electronic workings of video cassettes. Most protective environments concentrate on blocking only particular wavelengths...... converting it or diverting i t Radiogenic objects and materials function as unwitting interfaces between the abstract space ofelectromagnetism and the material culture of everyday life. within a cultural context. devices and materials have been developed to offer protection or shelter from the spectrum. The final result expresses a hertziin domesticity. denying the enemy its effective use and protecting friendly electromagnetic systems against electronic attack. The same technology is used to protect sensitive equipment inside buildings from bursts of external radiation. this project is intended to be technically feasible. many office buildings are now designed to function as Faraday cages. but by defining and giving tangible expression to new thresholds between inside and outside.. His kit for making temporary zones of privacy consists of specially made tape with the words 'digital shelter' printed on it and a waveshield mobile phone jammer.. A modern war is won by the side that best exploits the electromagnetic spectrum. their mobile phone stops working..... architect Oliver Michell has developed a range of prototype Faraday Curtains that make use of of his ongoing research into digital shelters for the scanscape.This utilitarian shelter of minimum dimensions and comfort might even be a retreat.. Waveshield devices are currently used in cinemas and restaurants to minimise 'social pollution'... Ceramic conductive coatings or fine blackened copper wire meshes are laminated in glass to create 'dahsafe' windows. that is they interact directly with electromagnetic waves. Most of the materials Michell has chosen to focus on are familiw elements of domestic surface decoration such as wallpaper and net curtains.

to suit different environments Hundreds of church spires already cany some form of telecommunications equipment and in return the churches receive a rent of behveenE3. the angel antenna is an example of how juxtaposition could lead to a more enjoyable.-. in this case a weathervane. meetmg of matenal and electron~c cultures.OOO-£30.000 if it was allowed to place a radio mast inside it.000 such masts In Brltain and an estimated 100. Solutions like these are produced outside ofa conventional design context. herhian space has ~ t material props In the case of mob~le s phone networks. ~tIS the unsightly masts dotted throughout the countlys~de perched on bulldlngs In all and major cltles and towns There are believed to be more than 20. One of the most intriguing stealth antennas is located in Guildford cathedral in Surrey.000 more will be needed over the next decade Several Amerlcan companies lncludlng ARCNET of New Jersey.000 per year.-"- cactus designs are also be available.Like all supposedly immaterial medla. p. A t t a c h r n o b l l e p h o n e lar--. and AT&T are D l g l t a l S h e l t e r b y Pedro Sepulveda-Sandoval. Whereas a professional designer might tly to express the meaning of the antenna. . or create a 'modernist'sculptural statement 1' J O I to create an accidentally poetic landmark. new and almost magical aualltles The Gulldford angel expresses beautifully the poetic I i Rather than forclng material culture to express thls fusion. The telecommunications company One-to-one offered to re-gild the cathedral's 5 m angel weather vane with gold leafat a cost of620. the Larson Company ofArlzona. The pole on which the vane rotates has been replaced by a new steel structure concealing three transmitters.27 Peel t h e backlng off t h e D l g l t a l S h e l t e r adheslve tape and s t l c k t o t h e f l o o r I n t h e c h o s e n s p a c e . Valmont Industries ofNebraska. ~ Electron~c technology g~ves ensting objects. lf cerebral.

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p.Q NO PERFUME NO PERFUMED PRODUCTS NO AFTERSHAVE NO SMOKING NO FLOWERS @ @ Entrance sign.21 Personal protection devices by LessEMF. Hemel Hempstead. Breakspear Hospital. p.21 .

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Designed for those 'little white lies in between'. NO R e f u n d s whatsoever a r e given under any circumstances. (! beaches. The letterwill be postmarked with the correct area code. the emphasis would be on existentialism. although the people behind the schemeare nervous about offeringthe service in the United States. The pleasure provided by the existence of a service like this lies is in resolving the dilemma it presents. ~ l l i n conjunction with any c r i m i n a l a c t whatsoever. Although a l l p o s s i b l e safeguards and measures a r e t a k e n .. this product genre would address the darker. Noir products would be conceptual products. we could simply enjoy the wickedness of the values embedded in these products and services. which usesdesign proposals as a medium for exploring what these products might be like. and you can also arrange to leave a contact number which will be answered in the correct regional accent. F a s t Track S e r v i c e s w i l l n o t b e h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e b r e a k down o f a n y r e l a t i o n s h i p o f f e r a s e r v i c e t o h e l p p r o t e c t t h e family u n i t o r r e l a t i o n s h i p from d i s t r e s s c a u s e d b y e m o t i o n a l o r a n y o t h e r t u r m o i l w h i c h may o c c u r due t o t h e d i s c l o s u r e of a n y a c t i o n s t a k i n g p l a c e o u t s i d e of t h e normal r e l a t i o n s h i p . the product creates dilemmas rather than resolving them. h a genre. This soundtrack CD allows you to cut and paste reality.These objects would not help people to adapt to existing social. I 1 I . Many interesting examples of noir products already exist. the 'product' would be a fusion of psychological and external 'realities'. the CD is intended to be played in the background while you are making a telephone call from a place you should not be. Its very existence triggers a chain of thoughts and narratives in the imagination. The best examples of how design responds to the psychological and behavioural dimensionsofelectronics can be found at the edges of anonymous design. a real product produced by the Counter Spy shop. It combines avoice stress analyser with a telephone. n o g u a r a n t e e i s g i v e n t o a n y member t o e n s u r e t h a t t h e i r p a r t n e r w i l l n o t b e c o m e a w a r e o f " o t h e r " r e l a t i o n s h i p s .Theirvery existence is enough to create pleasure. F a s t Track S e r v i c e s d o n o t condone o r d i s a g r e e with s a i d a c t i o n s . Franchises of this service are available. the owner explores boundaries between himself and the paranoid user sugyested by the product. It isas though the internet reflects human nature inall its imperfections while the material world of consumer products only reflects idealised notions of correct behaviour. If the current situation in product design is analogous to the Hollywood blockbuster. TERMS. conceptual models ofneed that are usually limited to cinema and literature. Electronic technology makes this meeting more fluid. but many people use this service. You may not agree with it or choose to use it. This is very diiferent from conceptual design. more complex and more interesting. revealing how limited choices are usually hard-wired into products for us. a medium that fuses complex narratives with everyday life. not how they look and feel. Instead. These products and services work on a radically differentaesthetic principal from traditional products: it is what they do that creates pleasure. Conceptual design can exist comfortably in book or video form. is one example of how a Noir product might work. the product would force a decision onto the user. The user becomes a protagonist and the designer becomes a co-author ofthe experience. The effect isnot only limited to products: as its name suggests. where desire overflows its material limits and subverts the function of everyday objects. just imagining these objects in use creates a strong and perversely enjoyable experience. the user would become a protagonist and coproducer of narrative experience rather than a passive consumerofa product's meaning. When you subscribe. thenan interesting place to explore in more detail might be its opposite: Design Noir. Even if we do not use them. If you consider products in this way. They show how design products and services can function as a medium for producing complex psychological experiences. With this form of design. in case they are sued for their part in helping employees bunk offwork. The Truth Phone.a dilemma. V a t Purposes o r f o r a n y o t h e r f i n a n c i a l g a i n . We find this service interesting because it meets areal need not fulfilled anywhere else. By referring to the world of product misuse and abuse. and shows how electronic products have the potential to generate a chain of events which together form a story. I TheTruth Phone and similar electronic objects generate a conceptual space where interactivity can challenge and enlarge the scheme through which we interpret our experiences of using everyday electronic objects and the social experiences they mediate. Imagine objects that generate 'existential moments' . the focus of the design shifts from concerns of physical interaction (passive button pushing) to the potential psychological experiences inherent in the product. CONDITIONS 6 DISCLAIMER Documentation is i s s u e d b y F a s t Track S e r v i c e s t o t h e c l i e n t f o r t h e purposes of substantiating a n a l i b i t o help ensure t h a t a r e l a t i o n s h i p remains s t a b l e and is n o t t o b e used i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h Tax R e t u r n s . cultural and politialvalues. Imaginespeaking to your mother or a lover while the Truth Phone suggests they are lying. for instance -which they would stage or dramatise. Ace-Alibi. but they are not created by designers. On another level. Like in Film Noir. entering into a psychological adventure.com is a service for creating false alibis. It is the thrill of transgression that counts here. The mental interface between the individual and the product is where the 'experience' lies. By using the phone. it is about life whereas conceptual products are part of life. you might choose an option that involves beingsent a letter inviting you to a conference. it would focus on how the psychological dimensions ofexperiences offered through electronic products can be expanded.

rather than manufactured ones. p. wen just thinking about them raises many important issues. J u s t t y p i n g up t h a t letter on t h e computer 1 3 . bar etc. One love hotel there allows you to select avariety of background environmental sounds to give the impression you are calling from a train station. And s t r a i g h t o n t o t h e s u n b e d 9. 5. Asuicide computer built to kill patients legally was developed by Dr. F o r g o t t o d o t h e v a c u u m i n g 12. This product not only recognises loneliness. and then proceeded to record her doing everything from the washing up and the laundry to reading the newspaper. 4. Philip Nitschke in theNorthemTerritory of Australia. street. Many products like these have an existential theme. T h e f r i d g e i s f u l l a g a i n a t l a s t Cappuccino break Reading t h e paper Time t o d o t h e w a s h i n g u p A s h i r t is q u i c k l y i r o n e d 6. Baking a c a k e f o r t h e beloved 7. Like Ace-Alibi.com. Alone no more 1. The machine was first used in Danvin in 1996. He asked a friend to invite his girlfriend around. then 100 ml of liquid Nembutal was pumped through a needle into the patient's arm. while youare really on the phone in your hotel room. but it uses technology to satisfy unacknowledged but genuine needs. They perplex rather than comfort. On another level. The machine consisted of a computer that asked the patient three times whether they really wanted to die. Imagine if this were one of many radio stations you could tune into. Slamming a r o a s t i n t o t h e o v e n 2. where euthanasia was legal for a brief period in the 1990s. B e t t e r o f f r e a d i n g a n d h a v i n g a smoke 1 5 . and was bought by the ScienceMuseum in London in 2001. Bernd Klosterfelde had the idea for this product shortly after finding himself living alone after a divorce. Objects can be existential in other ways too. T h e r e ' s n o t h i n g o n TV a g a i n . . If the patient agreed each time. for instance in the form of computer-aided existentialism. They fell asleep and died within a few minutes. G e t t i n g o u t t h e h a i r d r y e r 10. 3. d r a w n b y Tom G a u l d ( t o p ) a n d R e i T~~~~ (bottom). A b a t h is j u s t t h e t h i n g 8. The producer claims this CD is a manifesto for singletons. thisservice may not be to everyone's taste.In Japan they have taken this idea one step further.b L *Y w:-& I tke 9 i fS t h . a t l e a s t t h e c r l s p s a r e g o o d 1 4 .a CD of the familiar sounds of everyday domestic tasks that became acult hit. but celebrates it. this love hotel is an interesting counterpoint to the typical 'smart S u i c i d e C o m p u t e r .48 The company that produces the Alibi CD also produce Nie Mehr Nlein (Alone No More). Nature c a l l s 11.

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but e ~ ar l ~ k mus~cal e ~nstruments today. the orgasm generator is part of an almost secret history of inventions for pleasure. The current focus is on wellness and well-being. / . ~ a r t i c ~ ~ a t e . but a look through patent records throws up some very interesting and strange ideas that again tell us more about the diversity of notions of pleasure than anything else. Their inventors were motivated by the hard reality of financial gain. d r a w n by Tarn C a u l d . The contents of the patent office represent a material cultural history of desire. fear and pleasure. The US Patent Office provides a history of technological pleasure in the form of patents for sex aids collected over the last 150 years. and even palnt~ngs. but they are unsure what these might be.would sttll be valuable to l~ve ~ t h ~t w them for awh~le. they were documented because they either solved a problem or provided exceptional pleasure. fact these things exist means our material culture reflects more accurately the but the 1 Il i eventually wear off with Increased famil~ar~ty.I1 I Today. What Ifthey could be rented?Not l ~ k e a v ~ d oroItbrary book-although thefunct~on s s i m ~ l. I! / !ill . p .Although discovered by accident. They believed that each of these devices had a potential market. belleve there IS room for a new category of are We objects that prov~de complex aesthettc and psycholog~calexpertences w ~ t h ~ n everyday Itfe They could come in a varfety of genres of wh~ch ~ s j u sone noir t . large corporations know that as many of our basic needs are met. O r g a s m i m p l a n t . These objects are not science fiction or art. The strange narrative of pleasure documented in patent drawings offers a technological reflection of human frustratioq fantasy. for example the need for methods of making sex safe in the age ofAlDS. we desire to satisfy more abstract ones. The list includes contraception devices. Very few of them have made it to the market place. 5 1 (including sex robots).

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.. Its purpose is to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers. Aworld where shopping has more political impact thanvoting is a threat to democracy.. It helps to create and maintain desire for new products. industrial designers could develop design proposals that challenge conventional values.... especially industrial designers... the design process is informed by values based on a specific worldview.. ranging between $111 and $126 billion.. Asaresult.... being accessible. view design assomehow neutral.. Weare not against industry. are now exceeded by the GDPs ofonly 21 nation states. but its purpose is not to present the d r e a m of industry.. product design simply reinforces global capitalist values.. technical and economicvalues.. extending it in the name of progress and aesthetic novelty... At the moment. or way of seeingand understanding reality.. Things are far more complex today than they were 30 years ago.different. Today... Critical design takes as its medium social. this type of design is neglected and regarded as secondary. just one possibility... The latter rejects how things are now as being the only possibility.. Design outside this arena isviewed with suspicion as escapist or unreal.. design's main purpose isstill to provide new products-smaller. We need to consider alternative visions to those put forward by industry. But all design is ideological. psychological. is perfectly positioned to perform this role.. that engage with and challenge industry's technological agenda. user-friendliness or corporate identity..... cultural. which seeks to extend the medium.. and buying power is more important thanvoting power..... ' The design profession needs to mature and find ways of operatingoutside the tight constraints of servicing industry. design propaganda......There is a place for a form ofdesign that pushes the cultural and aesthetic potential and role of electronic products and services to its limits. Design.. Instead ofthinking about appearance. even though it is of course part of consumerist culture. cleanand pure. Most designers... But in order to achieve this. Being provocative and challenging might seem like an obvious role for art..... It is not enough to simply offeran alternative..... industry and the public about the aesthetic quality of our electronically mediated existence. To be considered successful in the marketplace.. therefore it h a to be popular. they will tend to remain one-offs. Critical design is related to haute couture.. technical or economicvalues... Industry is after all in the businw ofmaking money for its shareholders..... More could be learnt from fine art where there is a history of critical strategies for asking questions through objectsand stimulating debate in engaging ways.. It needs to establish an intellectual stance of its own.. Critical designcan never be truly popular. concept cars....... or design that askscarefullycrafted questionsand d e s u s think.. We need to develop a parallel design activity that questions and challenges industrial agendas. as Noreena Hertz points out in The Silent Takeover (2001) -the annual values ofsales ofeach of thesix largest transnational corporatiom. or the design profession is destined to loose all intellectual credibility and beviewed simply as an agent of capitalism. attract new business. At the moment. and that is its fundamental problem. about the way poetic moments can be intertwined with the everyday and not separated from it.At its worst. . (Un)Popular design product designers in particular. and as a result.. social.. But critical design must avoid the pitfalls of the 1970s by developingstrategies that link it back to everyday life and fully engage the viewer. but design isstruggling to reach this level of intellectual maturity. embracing and developing new methods and approaches that simultaneously appeal and challenge in the way a film or book does. Maybe we need a new category to replace the avant-garde: (un)popular design. More disturbing is the unwillingness of the design profession to take on a more responsible and pro-active role within society. Design is ideological When technology is developing as rapidly as it is now. and visions of the luture. see the social value of their work as inextricably linked to the marketplace... it conform to cultural.... Questions must be asked about what we actually need.. Design needs to see this for what it is...... encourages disatisfactionwith what we have and merely translates brand values into objects. Before this can happen... governments and politicians are loosing power. but art is far t w removed from theworld of mass consumption and electronic consumer products to be effective in this context.The former reinforces how things are now... new strategies need to be developed that are both critical and optimistic...... and creative design thinking. Most design falls into this category. it provides a critique of the prevailing situation through designs that embody alternative social.. It differs too from experimental design.... technical and economic expectation. designers will have to redeline their role. cultural. better. This has always been the case inarchitecture.. although it could direct more of its profits into serious design research rather than facile PR exercises..... Design can be described as falling into two very broad categories: affirmative design and critical design.. ensures obsolescence.. design has to sell in large numbers. Corporations have a bigger influence on reality than government. Critical design... faster.. some significant shifts need to occur... contemporary and part of popular culture. Objects that are critical of industry'sagenda are unlikely to be funded by industry... Global corporations are becoming more powerful than states.... reflection and criticism are particularly important.... anticipate new trends or test the market... the only . is just as difficultand just as important as design that solves problems or finds answers... and develop alternative roles for itself. in an effortto push the limits of lived experience not the medium.

BIT installed a motion detector and video camera near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge to count the number of oeoole iumoine off. and industrial Goods (TOY-NAKI)which are mass-produced in a factory and sold in the mainstream marketplace. Lucy Kimbell preferred to present one of her projects as a business proposition and look for investors. theartist rollrrtiv~ AtplierVm I . Nobumichi and Masamichi Tosa. They also produce CDs. or product promotions as they like to call them. For instance. art group and brand formed in 1994 by a group of architects. or as Thomas Frankwrites in One Market Under God (2001) a form of'market populism' has taken hold. pr'ogrammers. but their $500. consumerism and cultural value. i ~ < h n ~ l ~t h i ~wnvk~d t h d ~ d o of. eToysoriginally tried to buy out the etoy brand. you could give them your VIP number and receive a gentle buzz when they called you later. etoy succeeded in getting eToys to back off. As the intermediary between the consumer and the corporation. when ageneral blurring of distinctions behveen fine art. the value of the on-line toy store's stock dropped from $67 to $15 a share. who served the cause by publicising the case on the net and in the news media. interiors and is working on a building. legal. She has left the ideaof artist as individual behind to work on a fictional organisation where she is just one employee.which are one-of-a-kind productsand are not for sale. One of the most comprehensive fusions ofart and corporate culture has to be Maywa Denki. filing counter suits and establishingalliances. a business proposal and an on-line application form. eiphasis from the object and demonstrating its feasibility to the experiences it &n offer. Liam Cillick. Designers can learn much about this from the approaches developed by artists during the 1990s. Later. If you liked someone. Originally from an engineering background. The toy company then set out to sue etoy. an art unit set up in 1993 by twolapanese brothers. multiples (GM-NAKl). 60 i I 1 I : I i . economicand cultural systems. Her proposal was for a vibrating internal pager (VIP) using the same technology as vibrating mobile phones. Not all artists choose to wage war against the corporate world. uniforms and stationary.000 offerwas turned down. the market and critical positions have changed. M a y a Denki produce three kinds ofobject: prototypes (NAKI). where people's true desires are expressed and fulfilled through the marketplace. they are dismissed aselitist. Natalie Jeremijenko now describes herself as a staff engineer working for the Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT). Probably the best known example is etoy. Instead of seeking arts funding. they are organised as a business whose core activity is producinga variety of devices. which are reproductions of NAKl products and are for sale. In Suicide Box (1996). the design profession is in a perfect position to host a debate in the form of design proposals about technology. All participating artists agree to sell them individual identity to etoy corporation forshares and to live an anonymous llfe as etoy agents. During their performances. Describing themselves as 'parallel world electricians'. nnntrh ahnrtionhin to hp nn ~ n anchored off the coast of Ireland and other catholic countries where abortion is illegal. accusing the internet artists of unfair competition and trademark delusion.Afraid that potential customersmight confuse the twosimilarly named sites.800 volunteer etoy agents and activists. in fact there is not even a picture of what it looks like. With the help of 1. . They even produce aMaywa Denki company profile explaining all the company's activities for potential jobapplicants. artists and designers.etoys. There has also been a shift in the intellectual landscape as relations between popular culture. Artists presenting themselves as employees of imaginary organisations or companies can also yield some interesting results. This state ofaffairs makes critical positions almost impossible. a corporation. theywear costumes designed to look like those of a typical Japanese small to medium sized enterprise (SME).store (w. The product was never realised. books. even though the artists'site had been established long before the retailer's. Their original aim was to create a purely digital identity (www. It isalmost taboo for an industrial designer to rejectwhat the marketwants. design and business began to develop. During the course of the Toywar campaign.com) that attempted to use its superior size and financial power to force etoy to give up its domain name. There is something moresinister about the idea of an organisation rather than an individual carrying out subversive work like this.etoy. VIP exists as a description. videos.com) and break out of narrow art world constraints. who explores decision making mechanisms in corporate culture and their impact on history. Other artists have concentrated on appropriating the business world'sorganisational structures to produce work that fused fictional and real. also designs exhibitions. a reoort was oroduced (engineer's reoort SB03: Jan 23-97) with recommendations for how the BlTSuicide Box data could be used to calculate a 'robust and market responsive value of life'. lawyers. But first designers will need to develop new communication strategies and move from narratives 11 : . Anything outside of the marketplace is regarded as suspiciousand unreal. The marketplace is viewed as the only reality.

Don't explain'. Gralish consists of a sheet of ~apersurrounded a box into which by a living fish dipped in ink is placed. The aim is to encourage the viewers to ask themselves why the values embodied in the proposal seem'fictional'or 'unreal'. Ltd. Watched by millions. the apartment from which Rodney King's beating was videoed.or more specifically. they later transferred to the amusement and entertainment division ofYoshimoto Kogyo Co. An experimental narrative in the form of SMS messages. the opposite is true in value fictions.Aslight strangeness is the key tooweird and they are instantly dismissed. its power lies in its precise function andlow key display ofdisturbing information. The counter is designed to be visually unassuming andcould easily fit into the slightly retro-futuristic style ofthe moment. and to question the social and cultural mechanisms that define what is real or fictional. Most of these products are not unlike the merchandising used to promote a new film -plastic miniatureversions of fictional I condoms. The fear of being boycotted by the extreme Right. it touches nearly everyone's life but is heavily policed. @ . which is set in a Los Angeles apartment complex Artist Mel Chin had the idea of using TVas a medium for 'public art' that raises important issues about gender. Maywa Denki offeranother way of thinking about design in relation to both art and product markets. Uke-Tel is a cage with a tank at the bottom. One way this could happen in design is through the development of value fictions. Maywa Denki's industrial goods (TOY-NAKI)are so popular that some Japanese department stores have a dedicated Maywa Denki department.it must provide pleasure. in the US especially. Oneattempt to change thissituation was a project to infiltrate the American soap opera Melrose Place. a dark counterpoint to the 'happy-ever-after'world ofAlessi ' Similarly subversive. Materialising unusual values in products is one way that design can be ave~ypowerful formofsocial critique. Many of the products in the NAKI series have a darkly humorous side. a spike is released and drops on to the fish below. a well' known agency for managing TV personalities and comedians. It is aclassic noir product. We don't actually have to use the proposed products ourselves. One of the main challenges of using value fictions is how they are communicated: we need tosee them in use. The cage is connected to a speaking clock. The idea is not to be negative. or at least highly ambiguous. When they agreed. Chin formed the GALA Committee. Thedesign proposals portrayed invalue fictionsderive their interest through their potential functionality and use. It may or may nor kill one. with hvoor three fish swimming around in it. days. If in science fiction. you may feel very relaxedas theyears stretch out ahead or begin to panic as you see your life speed away before your eyes. insight. or 'call somebody and tell them something that you have already told them.provide a type of experience that M a r t i n h i s has called 'complicated pleasure'. The approach is based on viewing values as raw material and shaping them into objects. an imaginedaesthetics of use. Like the examples from the art world described earlier. Maywa Denki use design as a form of entertainment. Surrender Control drew users into an evolving game of textual suggestion. it is by imagining them being used that they have an effect on us. Nicole Brown Simpson's house.Although it is not clear how many people actually noticed these subtle interventions. Sei-Gyo is a cross-shaped. not strange enough and they're absorbed into everyday reality. made up of students and teachers from University of Georgia and CalArts (Los Angeles). provocation and dare through instructions such as 'breaksomething and pretend it was an accident'. surprise and wonder. Ippei Matsumoto uses product design to explore the powerful need for individual identity and meaning within a context ofglobal culture. show how design proposals like this might work. Once activated. ofalienating sponsors and incurring the wrath of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) means serious issues are rarely addressed on the main commercial TV channels. GALAproducedbed linen for one bedroom scene that is covered in images of unrolled - The following examples. Although their work borders on entertainment. Dependingon which face you choose todisplay. you choose how many years you would like to or expect to live forand start the counter. Value fictions cannot be too clear or they blend intowhat wealready know. they have to be grounded in how people really do behave. industry and the publicabout electronic technology and everyday life. it isa fresh and playful combination of set design and art. violence and infectious diseases. the technology is often futuristic while social values are conservative. On closer inspection. This is done by developing alternative and often gently provocative artefacts which set out to engage people through humour. the technologiesare realistic but thesocialand cultural values are often fictional. it counts down theselected time span at four differentrates: the number of years. The projects explore the psychological and behaviourai dimensions of our relationship toobjects and services. it also has a unique death'. rather than the technical.Their NAKl series is a collection offish-inspired nonsense machines. borrow commercial structures and combine different media in an effort toengage and challenge the viewer. but in a way that leaves room for the viewer's imagination. -----------------------------------------------------------Complicated pleasure We believe that in order for conceptual design to be effective. to surrender some control. The dying fish leaves a graphic pattern on the sheet: 'as each fish has a unique life. The suspension of disbelief is crucial -if the artefacts are too strange they are dismissed. formal or structural possibilities of consumer technologies. many ofthe GALApaintingshanging in the Melrose Place apartments turn out to depict infamous LA locations where horrible violence or death occurred -Marilyn Monroe's bungalow on the day she died. waterfilled container mounted on a robotic vehicle. WithLife Counter (2001). Originally signed to Sony Music Entertainment as musicians producing CDs and performances. When the number is dialled. but to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designers. He approached the set designers of Melrose Place and offered to provide freeart to put in the background. Having noticed that characters on the show have a lot ofsex but are never shown using condoms. Television is medium ripe for subversion. In these scenarios. The idea was to invite people to live life in a strange dialogue with a distant other. The emphasis isshifted from the aesthetics of production to the aesthetics of consumption. cutting across several genres and types ofactivity. drawn from recent graduate projects at the Royal College of Art in iondon. In 2000 they wereawarded A good design award for theme category' by the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organisation. to collaborate on the design of props for the show which they called non-commercial PIMs (product insertion manifestations). hours or seconds to go areshown on different faces. these projects mix fiction and reality. placed in everyday life. The direction the vehicle takes depends on which arm a fish inside the container swims into. Surrender Control is a poetic service by Matt Locke and Tim Etchells that was delivered to participants through their mobile phones.

providing the housebound with a means ofconnection to their environment. Design proposals like these can really only exist outside the marketplace. but also how professional design organisationsand associations see their role. Perhaps they could follow the lead of some architechre institutions.This would require not only a shift in the way designersview their own position. So for example. Free from commercial restrictions and based in an educational environment. and focus on the need to encourage di3erse visions through competitionsand workshops for practisingdesigners. Designers need to explore how such design thinking might re-enter everyday life in ways that maintain the design proposal's critical integrity and effectiveness.meaning not the conceptual stage ofa design project.1 He is interested in how new technological possibilities will affect the way we treat other people in our search for new pleasures. as a form of 'conceptual design'. a person might be hired to spend time in a peep show. Auger's device allows someone to be somewhere they are not. so that the conceptual becomes more real and the real is seen as just one limited possibility among many. for instance. but a design proposal intended to challenge preconceptions about how electronics shape our lives. Wearing a head-mounted display. they could exploit their privileged position to explore a subversive role for design as social critique. designers. go on a blind date or even shopping on somebody else's behalf -verbal instructions would be relayed from the user to the host via a speaker in their helmet. as well as trying to engage the public through more challenging exhibitions and publications. . One way this could happen is if the design profession took on more social responsibility and developed its own independent vision. The challenge is to blur the boundaries behveen the real and the fictional. working with the public to demand more from industry than is currently on offer. Of course. Design proposals could be used as a medium to stimulate debateand discussion amongst the public. attend a meeting. and industry. Should the host be to enjoy though they were TV channels.while facing accusations of escapism. they could develop provocative design proposals to challenge the simplistic Hollywood vision of the consumer electronics industry. this device could have socially beneficial uses too. These ideas might even be expressed in the form of filmsand books rather than products. and asks us to think about the desirability of his scenarios becoming reality. utopianism or fantasy. Or is this a role for 'academic'designers? Rather than writing papersand seeking conventional academic approval.the user receives information from a second person whose own headset is equipped with a video camera and binaural microphones.

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s e n s i t i v e t o e l e c t r i c i t y d r a i n excess . f o r example... A 5 f i e l d s can a l s o f l o w up t h r o u g h t h e s i t t e r ' s body from e l e c t r i c w i r i n g r u n n i n g underneath t h e f l o o r . Electricity drain Some people who a r e h y p e r .. you might p l a c e t h e o b j e c t between you and t h e T V t o c r e a t e a s o r t o f shadow . When we designed t h e compass t a b l e .. T h i s l e a d .......... When i t does glow.t o t h e s t r e n g t h o f t h e f i e l d i t senses...c l a d box on t o p of a l a d d e r i s a p l a c e t a s t o r e p r e c i o u s t M n o t feed o f f E f i e l d s and i s i n f a c t b a t t e r y powered. . The t a b l e suggests how e l e c t r o n i c o b j e c t s can use a more g e n t l e language t o c a p t u r e o u r a t t e n t i o n o r mediate human c o n t a c t .. The phone V t o b l e can be p o s i t i o n e d b e h i n d t h e T i f a c a l l i s expected... Phone t a b l e T h i s t a b l e i s an a t t e m p t t o domesticate t h e m o b i l e telephone... and t h e r e f o r e does n o t e r e a l l y obsarb r a d i a t i o n ...i n t h i s case t h e amount of l i g h t e m i t t e d from 20 LEOS ..... The t w i t c h i n g needles con be i n t e r p r e t e d as b e i n g e i t h e r s i n i s t e r o r depending on t h e v i e w e r ' s s t a t e af mind... ~ i k eh e n l p p l e c h a i r . Though t h e draught e x c l u d e r i s mode from c o n d u c t i v e foam... o r o u t o f s i g h t i f you wauld p r e f e r n o t t o b e d i s t u r b e d ..f r e a k might try t o make a l l t h e needles l i n e up. i t ' s a s though you a r e s i t t i n g on i t s l o p ... t h e t o p o f t h e t a b l e glows g e n t l y ..... i t uses on e l e c t r i c f i e l d sensor t o r e l a t e t h e i n t e n s i t y o f i t s f u n c t i o n . ! 6...... ....... we wondered i f a n e a t . N i p p l e c h o i r T h i s t a b l e has a g l o b a l p o s i t i o n i n g sensor i n s i d e i t .. ............ Electro-draught excluder T h i s o b j e c t i s a c l a s s i c placebo. t h e phone i s p l a c e d i n s i d e t h e t a b l e w i t h i t s r i n g e r s w i t c h e d o f f . I t i s up t o them whether they s t a y and e n j o y t h e g e n t l e buzz...... 1 j I s y n t h e t i c and u r g e n t squawk can be d i f f i c u l t t o r e s i s t .. 1 works i n t h e same way: you p l u g i t i n and s i t naked on a s t a i n l e s s s t e e l p l a t e i n t h e seat... The 25 compasses s e t i n t o i t s s u r f a c e t w i t c h and s p i n when o b j e c t s l i k e m o b i l e phones o r l a p t o p computers a r e ~ l o c e d on i t ..... t h e r e s t o f t h e t i m e i t i s l o s t and i n d i c a t e s t h i s f a c t .. W l i k e t h a t i t i s s l i g h t l y anthropomorphic....a comfort zone where you s i m p l y f e e l b e t t e r . On r e t u r n i n g home.... 8... The i d e a l owner w i l l need a c o n s e r v a t o r y o r l a r g e window. I t can o n l y d i s p l a y i t s p o s i t i o n i n t h e w o r l d when i t has a c l e a r view o f t h e s a t e l l i t e s . i g n o r i n g t h e a r c h i t e c t u r a l space o f t h e room in favour o f t h e E a r t h ' s magnetic f i e l d ... W were i n t e r e s t e d i n whether o r n o t i t would make t h e awner f e e l more c o m f o r t a b l e ... Whenever t h e phone i s c a l l e d . m e d i t a t i v e p i e c e o r f u n c t i o n a l c h a i r ? ----____-___-_-------------------3..... i t i s n o t grounded... whose ___-________-_---__--------------4........... 2. i t i s much e a s i e r t o r e s i s t t h a n a r i n g i n g phone... W o r e p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t e d where people e w i l l keep t h i s o b j e c t : i n t h e bathroam? Bedroom? S i t t i n g room? I s i t a hygiene p r o d u c t ....... o r move t o a ' q u i e t e r ' spot.... o r a garden s o t h a t they can a t l e a s t b r i n g t h e t a b l e outdaors from t i m e t o t i m e so i t con connect w i t h a s a t e l l i t e and f u l f i l i t s p o t e n t i a l ..._-_--_--______-_-----------------1 Parasite l i g h t ... ... I f you a r e working near a TV... W l i k e e aware o f t h e r a d i o waves p e n e t r a t i n g t h e i r t o r s o .... Compass t a b l e T h i s t a b l e reminds you t h a t e l e c t r o n i c o b j e c t s extend beyond t h e i r v i s i b l e l i m i t s ....... t h e c h o i r has f o o t r e s t s e so t h a t you can i s o l a t e your f e e t from t h e ground....

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e because i t has made me aware o f how many o b j e c t s a r e on. I gave h e r f i v e shocks and she began t o g e t u p s e t and Ik i s s e d h e r and Igave h e r a n o t h e r shock and she s t a r t e d c r y i n g .Do you t h i n k i t a c t u a l l y d r a i n s ? p i c t u r e d i s a p p e a r s e v e r y now and then. I t i s more o f a s p e c i a l t a b l e r a t h e r t h a n a gadget t h a t l o o k s l i k e a t a b l e . Some p e o p l e f a s c i n a t e d and some p e o p l e pooh-poohed i t . It h i n k so.you p l u g i t i n ond e v e r y t h i n g i n t h e room has been absorbed I s t h a t r i g h t ? It o l d everybody about i t when t h e y came i n and some p e o p l e were expected. Iwas w i t h my m daughter i n Sofeway i n H i g h S t r e e t K e n s i n g t o n about s i x weeks ago when as soon as Iwalked i n I gave h e r an e l e c t r i c shock. I was w i p i n g h e r t e a r s away and w h i l e Iwas d o i n g t h a t . t h e y ' d bang. Ia c t u a l l y f e e l a b i t weird. whether i t i s t o do w i t h t h e t a b l e o r n o t . I t ' s j u s t me and c e r t a i n shops . . Iwas g i v i n g h e r e l e c t r i c shocks and Ia c t u a l l y h a d t o g e t someone e l s e t o t a k e h e r o u t o f t h e t r o l l e y and p u t h e r down because I was a f r a i d t o t o u c h h e r w h i l e we were i n t h e shop.t h e y d a n ' t j u s t e go o u t . if h e y f e l t something t i n g l e when t h e y t o u c h e d i t t o r i f i t c u t t h e i r phone o u t . T h a t c e r t a i n l y made a d i f f e r e n c e . Ihad a l o t o f t r o u b l e t r y i n g t o e x p l a i n what i t was supposed t o do because Iw a s n ' t s u r e whether i t was d o i n g i t m y s e l f . i What k i n d s of p e o p l e do you t h i n k m i g h t want t o own an o b j e c t l i k e this? I ' d say anyone who had l o t s of e l e c t r o n i c gadgets around them and was 1. when Iwas on t h e phone my f i l l i n g s h u r t . yes. Peaple have n o t i c e d t h a t i t ' s n o t something t h a t you would n o r m a l l y do. particularly. So we were h o p i n g t h a t something would happen m a g i c a l l y . I t d o e s n ' t make me calm and serene. It h i n k t h a t i s a l l t h o t i t would need . And I have t o say. I I Ij u s t d o n ' t know why. I It o u c h t h i n g s o r my c h i l d r e n . W had about s i x months o f t h e t o p l i g h t s n o t w o r k i n g a t a l l . Have t h e r e been o t h e r e x p e r i e n c e s o f e l e c t r o n i c t h i n g s ? Do you have any t h e o r i e s why? 1 I t i s q u i t e s t r a n g e . Could i t be d e s c r i b e d as a gadget? No. b u t I a v e r y p r o n e t o s t a t i c . as I were q u i t e w o r r i e d about i t and Ihad t o e x p l a i n t h a t t h e p l u g was j u s t an o u t l e t and n o t an i n l e t and t h e n t h e y seemed reassured. Has t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e o b j e c t had any e f f e c t on t h e way you t h i n k about e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c waves a t a l l ? I s Yes. As I a i d . I t ' s g o t a s l i g h t l y wacky c h a r a c t e r and I l i k e t h a t . . B u t t h e r e were s o many who were q u i t e w o r r i e d about what an e a r t h i t m i g h t be. t h e y a r e now w o r k i n g and t h e y j u s t seemed t o h e a l themselves. Iw o u l d n ' t have l i k e d i t so much ift was j u s t a l l p l a s t i c c o a t i n g . t h a t ' s why i t ' s b e s i d e t h e t e l e v i s i o n . L i g h t b u l b s . l i k e you would on i r o n o r a cooker? I t c e r t a i n l y made me r e a l i s e how much we must have i n t h e house.l i k e an a p p l i a n c e . Il o v e t h e f a c t t h a t i t i s i r o n i n g c a b l e . f D i d you show t h e o b j e c t t o o t h e r people? Do you t h i n k mony p e o p l e b e l i e v e t h o t i t a c t u a ? l y works? a d r a m a t i c e f f e c t . So you see i t as c o n s t a n t l y w o r k i n g on t h e environment . And I k e p t g i v i n g h e r shocks. v e r y b i z a r r e . I ' m a f r a i d . I f t h e r e c o u l d be some k i n d o f gauge which would show you when something was w o r k i n g . I g i v e them shocks. I t was very. Ia l s o p u t t h e a e r i a l on i t as we were h a v i n g problems g e t t i n g a good enough p i c t u r e . B u t t h a t h a s n ' t a c t u a l l y happened.as soon as I walk i n . t h e y would c o n s i d e r t h a t t o be working. How do you f e e l about t h e i d e a of p l u g g i n g something l i k e a c h a i r i n . W have had a l o t o f s t r a n g e e x p e r i e n c e s i n here. and a p p a r e n t l y t h a t i s t o do w i t h t h e magnetic f i e l d . Does t h a t h e l p ? Sometimes It h i n k i t helped. I c e r t a i n l y saw i t a s a t a b l e .

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I t wasn't what I r e a l l y expected when i t g o t here. B u t you c o u l d have d i a l s t h a t moved s o t h a t you c o u l d s e t i t t o z e r o and d e c i d e t h a t one i s z e r o and have i t twenty degrees round. F o r t u n a t e l y . t h e n I would have been a b i t alarmed by t h a t . i t ' s g o t d i a l s on i t . So when Ig e t o u t a f c a r s Ialways t a p t h e h a n d l e w i t h my n o i l s . b u t she e y d i d sciences. r e a l l y interesting. w o u l d n ' t i t . I t h o u g h t was q u i t e c o o l . A r a b e l l a : Yes. A r a b e l l a : It h i n k ifh e r e was one o b j e c t i n t h e room which hod r e a l l y t mode t h e t a b l e go crazy. d e f i n i t e l y . You're n o t t h i n k i n g about your p l a c e i n t h e w o r l d as much. o r something. They make you t h i n k a l o t more and they a r e Diane: I t ' s more t h a t Iwant t o understand what i s happening. And I m r e a l l y s t a t i c . b u t if you l e o v e i t p l a i n . A r a b e l l a . knowing where n o r t h i s ? What about o s an o u t s i d e p i e c e of f u r n i t u r e ? A r a b e l l a : I t h i n k Iwould l i k e t h a t most o f a l l . '(everyone laughs) Diane: I ' l l g e t a t r a i n s p o t t i n g book. Or i s t h a t f u n c t i o n a l ? . I t ' s a c u r i o s i t y k e n ' t t h e y t e l l i n g you w e r e n o r t h i s ? I s n ' t t h a t f u n c t i o n a l ? Diane: What's t h e p o i n t o f knowing t h a t ? Why i s t h a t f u n c t i o n a l . S i n c e I ' v e l i v e d here. r a t h e r t h a n i n s i d e . So have your experiences of l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e t a b l e hod an e f f e c t on t h e way t h a t you t h i n k about e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c waves? Diane: D e f i n i t e l y . b u t t h e r e wasn't. On an everyday l e v e l ? Diane: I t ' s n i c e t o t h i n k everyday.A r a b e l l a : I had an a l a r m i n g h a b i t o f b l o w i n g l i g h t bulbs. D i d you show t h e o b j e c t t o o t h e r people? What was t h e i r r e a c t i o n ? A r a b e l l a ( t o a f r i e n d i n t h e room): You came ond l o o k e d a t i t . i t would have a d i r e c t i o n . Then you c o u l d do s o r t of readings. w i t h o u t even t h i n k i n g about i t f i r s t so t h a t I d a n ' t g e t a shock o f f t h e handles. b u t t h e needles would s t i l l be i i n t h e same way. I I In o t i c e you have w r i t t e n about how u s e f u l t h e d l a l s were as a s o r t o f demarcation so you can a c t u a l l y use t h e t a b l e t o make r e a d i n g s Diane: Yau can t u r n t h e t a b l e round. But a l s o t h i n k i n g about how many o b j e c t s have g a t magnets i n them. r e a l l y . Diane: Yeah. t r y i n g t o show what happens by t h e r a d i a t o r . Diane: J u s t t h e r a d i a t o r . you c o u l d p l o t t h e whole j t So ifh i s i s n ' t p u r e l y f u n c t i o n a l t h e n what i s i t ? A r a b e l l a : Well. She was making her phone do t h o t (waving t h e phone around a compass) so t h a t t h e d i a l s went r o u n d and round and s t u f f . o f an evening: ' ' l s t t a k e some I lj u r e a d i n g s . M s i s t e r was r e a l l y i n t o i t . they o r e o b i t a l l over t h e p l a c e B u t you c o u l d do readings. Sometimes t h e y dim as w e l l .f u n c t i o n a l . i t can have any d i r e c t i o n . t h i n g s l i k e phones t h o t you p u t up t o yaur head. Diane: Because you move around a p i e c e of garden f u r n i t u r e anyway. d o n ' t you? y F r i e n d : I t ' s a l s o more r e l e v a n t t o know which way n o r t h i s if o u ' r e o u t s i d e . Diane. . . Perhaps t h i s i s o u r f a u l t though! Diane: W t a l k e d i t up so much. If t had a n o r t h . t w i c e I ' v e come i n and t u r n e d a t h e l i g h t s on and t h e h a l l l i g h t s have blown out. if you p r i n t e d i t on t h e r e . I g e t e l e c t r i c shocks o f f e v e r y t h i n g t h a t ' s metal. F r i e n d : I t sounded l i k e a r e a l l y i n t r i g u i n g p r a j e c t . You a r e t a l k i n g about i t b e i n g functional and t h e n you see t h e compass f a c t o r us b e i n g n o n . What d i d you expect? F r i e n d : Samething r e a l l y amazing t h a t d i d t r i c k s o r something. b u t because they were drawn by hand. A r a b e l l o : Ican imagine you. I ' v e g o t those diagrams which Idrew.

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t h i n g s I j u s t wanted t o keep and know where t h e y a r e . so I t h o u g h t i t c o u l d be p r o t e c t e d . I t ' s q u i t e easy t o l e t i t j u s t s i t t h e r e and not p u t a n y t h i n g i n . a n y t h i n g I put i n t h e r e hod t o e a r n i t s place. S h e ' s l e s s l i k e l y t o be i n t o t h a t s i d e of i t . boxes o f f u l l o f l e t t e r s and p o s t c a r d s . I f t h e o b j e c t was t o be passed on t o someone e l s e . It appealed i n a way t o t r y and p u t t h i n g s i n some s o r t . Do you t h i n k she would respond t o i t s b e i n g made o f l e a d . b u t t h e y w o u l d n ' t r e a l l y be s u i t a b l e t o go i n . b u t t h e n q u i t e d i f f e r e n t i n o t h e r ways. more l i k e l i v i n g t h i n g s r e a l l y . Because i t was h i g h up and h a r d t o g e t t o . of protecting things? t o t h i s idea P o s s i b l y n o t as much.l e v e l and she d i d n ' t . Was t h e r e a n y t h i n g t h a t you p u t i n t h e l o f t ond took out i m m e d i a t e l y ? When you t a l k t o your f r i e n d s . I ' m v e r y unordered. I d i d p h y s i c s a t A . b u t i t ' s w o r t h spending some t i m e r e a l l y t r y i n g t o work o u t what you would put i n .L o f t . Living things? I d i d n ' t use i t as much as I t h o u g h t I would. b u t I need i t e v e r y day. t o see what s h e ' d do w i t h i t . Hhat k l n d o f people do you t h i n k might want t o own t h i s o b j e c t ond Because I ' v e moved around a l o t i n t h e l a s t few years.and I ' v e adopted i t ' . l i k e boxes of p i n s and s t u f f l i k e t h a t .l i k e t h a t more t h a n she does. I can see i t a p p e a l i n g t o people who o r e much more o r d e r e d t h a n I am. Once i n p o s i t i o n . So I have boxes o f t a p e s . by t h e way. I had t o e x p l a i n : 'Oh. . s e e d l i n g s because they w o u l d n ' t g e t t h e i r l i g h t . And what t y p e s o f t h i n g s do you t h i n k you might have p u t i n t h e box? I f you had t o g i v e t h e o b j e c t t o someone. I t ' s q u i t e a c l u t t e r e d room. and some photographs. j u s t l i k e I have g o t o t h e r boxes f u l l o f o l d l e t t e r s o r t h i n g s from p a r t i c u l a r t i m e s o f m l i f e . y b u t i t appeals t o me. y Where i s t h e o b j e c t now? Why i s i t p o s i t i o n e d t h e r e ? I t ' s i n m bedroom. y What o t h e r k i n d s of boxes o r c o l l e c t i o n s o f t h i n g s do you make? you g i v e t o t h e n e x t odopter? I ' d probably t e l l them i t ' s a c t u a l l y q u i t e easy t o have i n a way. i t ' s hard t o soy s t r a i g h t o f f what. i t ' s a l o f t . and n o t l o s e . . I would have p u t m t r a v e l card i n t h e r e y because i t k e p t on g e t t i n g wiped.Sophie Do you f i n d i t hard t o t h r o w t h i n g s away? y Yeah. t h i n g s have c o l l e c t e d i n boxes and s t a y e d t h e r e . and boxes f u l l o f o b j e c t s t h a t d o n ' t r e a l l y have a home. a l l m s t u f f i s everywhere i n d i s a r r a y . W i t h a few people who come around. She's q u i t e l i k e m and hoards l o t s of s t u f f . what a d v i c e would T h i n g s t h a t were s e n t i m e n t a l and t h i n g s w h i c h a r e q u i t e personal. I ' v e moved o u t of home c o m p l e t e l y r e c e n t l y . t h e ladder f i t t e d P l a n t s or something l i k e t h a t . who would you g i v e i t t o ? P o s s i b l y m s i s t e r . ones w i t h s e n t i m e n t a l v a l u e . so m mum's been making m go t h r o u g h e v e r y t h i n g . Probably i n t i m e I ' d p i c k up p a r t i c u l a r t y p e s o f o b j e c t s . t h e b i g o b j e c t i n m room. I ' d p u t t h i n g s i n t h a t would i n some ways be q u i t e permanent o r n o t needed v e r y o f t e n . I found i t h a r d t h i n k i n g of t h i n g s t o put i n i t . how do you d e s c r i b e t h e o b j e c t ? A b i g box on t o p o f a l a d d e r t h a t ' s propped up a g a i n s t t h e w a l l . T h e r e ' s j u s t l o a d s and l o a d s of s t u f f e t h a t ' s accumulated over t h e years w h i c h I d o n ' t want t o t h r o w away. because i t d o e s n ' t r e a l l y i n t r u d e a t a l l . t h e s l i g h t y e d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t might be t h e r e . so I p r o b a b l y know about t h i n g s . - b u t t h a t w o u l d n ' t work / What k i n d s of t h i n g s d i d you p u t i n t h e r e ? T h i n g s l i k e t a p e s I d o n ' t l i s t e n t o v e r y much. y What d i d you use t h e o b j e c t f o r ? t h a t needed p r o t e c t i n g i n some way .

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making i t more a e s t h e t i c and more soothing. Unless i t glowed w i t h o u t t h e phone: you c o u l d have i t on phone f u n c t i o n o r j u s t a e s t h e t i c f u n c t i o n . M f l a t m a t e agreed t h a t i t l o o k e d n i c e . e s p e c i a l l y when t h e t a b l e glows and you h a v e n ' t g o t your phone i n t h c r c . so i t ' s m i s r e p r e s e n t i n g i t s e l f as a t a b l e . Ia m conscious of them. so i t would be i n t e r e s t i n g t o see how t h e two p l a y e d o f f each o t h e r . t h a t would be t h e s c a r y t h i n g : i t would be c o n t i n u o u s l y g o i n g o f f . People a r e always h a v i n g t o u s e t h e i r m o b i l e phones t o get i n t o t h e house. I t never works. I f she c o u l d p u t t h e microwave i n i t I ' m sure she would. t h e n you would know when someone's a t t h e door. I ! i Perhaps if t was t o d e t e c t d i f f e r e n t wavelengths. j u s t a g e n t l e s u b t l e i n d i c a t o r t h a t you've g o t a c a l l How would you f e e l if more o b j e c t s i n t h e home hod e l e c t r o n i c functions? The o n l y r e a l l y annoying t h i n g i n t h i s house i s t h e d o a r b e l l . Perhaps we s h o u l d p l u g t h e t a b l e i n t o t h e d o a r b e l l . She'd p r o b a b l y mave i t n e x t t o a l l t h e d i f f e r e n t e l e c t r i c a l o b j e c t s i n t h e house t o see how i t r e a c t s t o them. B u t I thought i t was q u i t e a n i c e i d e a c o n v e r t i n g t h e waves t o something else. B u t yeah. How would you imagine she would use i t ? She'd use i t t o d e t e c t r a y s and t h i n g s . Ip r o b a b l y s h o u l d know t h a t t h e s i g n a l i s s e n t even b e f o r e a c a l l comes and i t l a s t s afterwards. Combined w i t h t h e m o b i l e phone i t ' s d e f i n i t e l y a gadget. t h e y a r e always h a v i n g t o r i n g up and say ' I ' m here. We've g o t a k e t t l e t h a t w h i s t l e s i t s head o f f when i t ' s ready. What would you say was t h e most unexpected t h i n g t o come from b o r r o w i n g t h e o b j e c t f o r o month? t h i n k I was l e s s concerned about t h e waves and t h i n g s . I you had t o g i v e t h e o b j e c t t o someone. b u t t h e y a l l t h o u g h t of ways t h e y c o u l d enhance i t . can you l e t me i n ' . s h e ' d be conscious of l a o k i n g a t i t r e a l l y c a r e f u l l y and m o n i t o r i n g i t a l l t h e t i m e t o see when i t went o f f and t o see e x a c t l y what caused i t . i you h a d n ' t seen t h e f l a s h i n g . Have any e l e c t r o n i c o b j e c t s i n your home c r e a t e d any unusuol s i t u a t i o n s between f a m i l y members o r p e t s o r v i s i t o r s t o yaur home? .I t d i d make me t h i n k about how you use d i f f e r e n t senses t o be a l e r t e d b y d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s . D i d you show t h e o b j e c t t o o t h e r people? What was t h e i r r e a c t i a n ? I l i k e t h e f a c t t h a t t h e o b j e c t was d i s g u i s i n g t h c f u n c t i o n of t h e phone. She j u s t t h i n k s i t ' s weird. o r i f i t f l a s h e d b r i g h t e r w i t h a more h a r m f u l o r more i n t e n s i t y of r a y . t h e f a c t t h a t your phone r e a l l y i s t h e r i n g . D i d t h e o b j e c t generate any d i s c u s s i o n s ? Were t h e r e any disagreements between you and your f r i e n d s o r f l o t m a t e over i t s meaning? because i t wasn't a t a b l e and i t s a i d i t was a t o b l e . You r e a l i s e t h a t t h e r e a r e so mony t h i n g s . It h i n k some t h o u g h t i t was t o t a l l y p o i n t l e s s . She always r u n s o u t o f t h e roam when she t u r n s t h e microwave on and she has a p h o b i a about m o b i l e phones as w e l l . Has t h e experience of l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e o b j e c t hod on a f f e c t on t h e way you t h i n k about e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c waves? I 1 They thought i t l o o k e d r e a l l y c o o l and t h o u g h t t h e i d e a was c o o l . b u t Id o n ' t t h i n k she y saw why y o u ' d ever have a need f o r such a t h i n g . Isuppose i t d i d n ' t go o f f t h a t r e g u l a r l y because i t o n l y d e t e c t e d c e r t a i n s p e c i f i c waves. Do you t h i n k t h e o b j e c t i t s e l f i s a gadget? On i t s own i t ' s a p i e c e o f f u r n i t u r e . around you t h o t e m i t waves. because Iknow s h e ' s more concerned obout waves and t h i n g s . who would you g i v e i t t o ? f I ' d p r o b a b l y g i v e i t t o my Mum. So i t ' s q u i t e n i c e n o t t o have a r i n g . e s p e c i a l l y t h e microwave. n a t u r a l l y o r otherwise. Id o n ' t know g e n e r a l l y about e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c waves. l i k e p u t t i n g a l i t t l e counter on t h e f r o n t so you c o u l d see how many c a l l s you had i n case f y o u ' d missed them. t o f i n d o u t what t h e p a t t e r n was. so i t would a c t as a lamp o r something. She was d e f i n i t e l y l e s s enamoured w i t h i t t h a t Iwas. b u t Iwas more i n t r i g u e d as t o why i t was g o i n g o f f r a t h e r t h a n where t h e waves were coming from. even though I ' m i n communications. i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g . b u t i n s t e o d you c o u l d have a c o n t r o l board w i t h d i f f e r e n t l i g h t s f o r d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s i n t h e house t h o t c o u l d f l a s h . I t ' d be a much more s o o t h i n g way o f b e i n g a l e r t e d t o things.

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crouching behind it and peaking over i t ! Lauren: I ended up c r e a t i n g a l i t t l e s a f e s p a c e where I ' d tuck it i n p a r a l l e l t o t h e t e l e v i s i o n b u t behind t h e t a b l e . y y I f you had t o g i v e t h e o b j e c t t o someone who would you g i v e li t o ? Jan: I ' d t r y and s e l l i t . m f r i e n d s . y Lauren: I ' d g i v e it t o m s i s t e r . I ' m n o t s u r e i f it does do it. and I con s e e it going i n f r o n t of t h a t when s h e goes t o s l e e p . b u t I f e l t it was d e f i n i n g a s p a c e r a t h e r t h a n a c t u a l l y doing something. t h e equipment s u r r o u n d s t h e room. It worked b e t t e r a s a symbolic ' s h u t t i n g t h e d o o r ' . people s a i d 'Wow'. . Jan: I know t h a t Lauren h a s been u s i n g it a s a weapon a g o i n s t me. A s soon a s I took i t i n t h e r e . your f r i e n d s ? Jan: Yeah. J a n : .E l e c t r o . . suddenly CompuServe speaks o u t 'you have m a i l ' i n h i g h d e c i b e l s . I ' d l i e on t h e s o f a s o it was p r o t e c t i n g almost a l l o f m a p a r t from m head. I ' v e been t h i n k i n g t h a t t h e bedroom was a s a f e space. . And t h e o t h e r woy I ' v e used i t was t o t a k e i t i n t o t h e bedroom with me t o p r o t e c t myself from J a n ' s s t u d i o n e x t door. and y I j u s t l e a v e t h e volume high ond go away. . s h e ' s r e a l l y busy and s t r e s s e d a t t h e moment. Where i s t h e o b j e c t now? And why i s i t p o s i t i o n e d t h e r e ? Lauren: I ended up u s i n g it i n two p l a c e s . I t h i n k t h a t could work q u i t e well. But t h o t was l e s s t o do with s p e c i f i c a l l y p r o t e c t i n g myself from e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c waves and much more t o do with c r e a t i n g a l i t t l e space. I f e l t t h a t it w a s n ' t s h i e l d i n g m e completely. Where do you imagine s h e would p u t i t ? Lauren: S h e ' s g o t a bed and h e r desk r i g h t n e x t t o h e r head. j u s t because i t suddenly t r i g g e r e d e x t r a f e e l i n g of t h i n g s t h a t were i n t h e house. I t ' s q u i t e on a e s t h e t i c work of a r t . One was when I was watching TV: when I f i r s t s t a r t e d u s i n g it. .d r o u g h t Excluder - Lauren & J a n Has t h e e x p e r i e n c e of l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e o b j e c t had on a f f e c t on t h e way you t n i n k about e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c waves? Lauren: I ' d a l r e a d y been conscious of t h e s u b j e c t . I found i t q u i t e s c a r y Jan: I play music I ' v e downloaded from t h e n e t through m s t e r e o . I t h i n k t h e pink c o l o u r i n g a t t r a c t e d p e o p l e Jan: I have t o s a y everyone was n a t u r a l l y q u i t e s c e p t i c a l about i t s Lauren: What. and t h e n I d e s c r i b e what it l o o k s l i k e and how you a r e meant t o u s e i t . . Jan: I t ' s t o o s m a l l t o p r o t e c t you. where s h e s s g o t a l l h e r h i . Its n o t a c l e a r s p a c e i n any sense. This a b s o r b i n g r a d i a t i o n t h i n g . f o r t h e f i r s t week t h e o b j e c t r e a l l y made me f e e l unsafe. which I e y found o b i t t r o u b l i n g . Lauren: I n s t e a d of making me f e e l p r o t e c t e d . s o I ended u p . I h a v e n ' t a c t u a l l y used i t i n r e l a t i o n t o m equipment myself because y i t ' s completely p o i n t l e s s . l a t e a t n i g h t . Jon: Some people h a v e n ' t understood a t a l l when y o u ' r e t r y i n g t o g e t a c r o s s what it i s . I h a v e n ' t been a b l e t o s e e it t h o t way. Have any e l e c t r o n i c o b j e c t s i n your home c r e a t e d ony unusual s i t u a t i o n s between f a m i l y members o r p e t s o r v i s i t o r s t o your home? Lauren: The l a p t o p is plugged i n t o b i g s p e a k e r s and sometimes when J a n ' s not here.f i equipment. m mobile phone re-charger. . Jon: I ' d l i k e t o hang i t on t h e w a l l and g e t i t o u t t h e way. y Lauren: M f r i e n d s w e r e n ' t . It was making c e r t o i n n e u r o s e s e x p l i c i t t h a t you d i d n ' t know you had? Lauren: Yeah. i t ' s t h e r e t o b e a symbolic p r o t e c t i o n . It s t a r t l e s me. Three hours l a t e r on e-mail w i l l a r r i v e and completely s h a t t e r s t h e dead of n i g h t . Her room's r e a l l y s m a l l and e v e r y t h i n g ' s i n t h e r e . pink foam. J a n : Are you s u r e about t h a t ? Louren: I d i d n ' t f e e l t h a t i t was s h i e l d i n g me. r e a l l y . People would t h e n ask 'what do you mean?'. . because I hod e x t e n s i o n c a b l e s . I ' m s u r e you can g e t o few quid. b u t y o u ' r e going t o a b s o r b r a d i a t i o n from around i t . with backboard and h a n d l e s o you can move it around. b u t I d o n ' t t h i n k I wos a s c o n s c i o u s u n t i l I bought t h e draught e x c l u d e r i n t o t h e house. What kind of people do you t h i n k might want t o own t h i s o b j e c t and When you t o l k t o your f r i e n d s how do you d e s c r i b e t h e o b j e c t ? Lauren: An e l e c t r i c drought e x c l u d e r o r a c o n c e p t u a l d e s i g n t h i n g . p l u g s o c k e t s . because i t ' s n o t t h e r e t o completely e n c l o s e o f f a space. p o i n t y b i t s . i r o n y and h a i r d r y e r . b u t m f r i e n d s a r e a l l museum c u r a t o r s . It can p r o t e c t p a r t s of your body. Did you show t h e o b j e c t t o o t h e r ~ e o p l e ?Whot was t h e i r r e a c t i o n ? Lauren: People thought i t looked g r e a t . . a s a g e s t u r e of s h u t t i n g myself away f o r a l i t t l e while. Lauren: Square. I r e a l i s e d i t w a s n ' t a t a l l .

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The word c l e v e r . I t ' s a s e n s i t i v e e b i t af f u r n i t u r e . h a v i n g t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n i n t h e m i d d l e o f t h e t a b l e would be i d e a l because t h a t ' s when you s i t down and you t h i n k about l i v i n g . as you come i n . L o r n a : I you've g o t a b i g enough t a b l e .' T h a t ' s f i n e . When you i t t o them? D i c k : When I ' v e spoken about i t . Iknow i t ' s not. Lorna & L i z z i e o r t h a t i t i s located. t h e r e ' s a s o r t o f a u t o m a t i c r o u t i n e . ' You g e t a b i t worried. i t ' s l o s t . t h e y go over t o a w a l l and t h e y go 'oh. l e t ' s p r e s s t h i s i t became i m p o r t a n t o r i n t e r e s t i n g t o keep an eye on t h i n g s . D i c k : You have t o s i t and watch and w a i t f o r i t t o f i n d something. e D i c k : No. As a t a b l e It h o u g h t i t was a b i t i m p r a c t i c a l . i n a way. i t be something you would have i n a bedroom o r a l i v ~ n g space? L o r n a : I f Ihad a b i g h a l l .' I ' d b e t t e r go and check t h e t a b l e ' s t h e r e . What k i n d o f t h e o r i e s do you have about when i t ' s l o s t and when i t ' s found? What do you t h i n k i s happening? Dick: I t ' s s i l l y r e a l l y . b u t i t ' s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t i t ' s a t a b l e t h a t ' s d o i n g t h a t . you hang your c o a t up. i t has t o r e l o c a t e t o a n o t h e r s a t e l l i t e . And i f l i k e the e a r t h ' s atmosphere o r weather. The whole i d e a o f ~ i c k i n g up s a t e l l i t e s Ifound v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g . Because t h a t ' s t h e t h i n g about i t . . because when Icome home from work. computerised and whatever. Every day. 'Ah. . c l e a r t h i n g s away and Icheck i t because i t ' s a p a r t o f t h a t .you j u s t k i n d of check i t . You g e t t h e sense t h a t you have t o go ' I s i t a l l r i g h t ? ' . ' Which i s why Ih a v e n ' t moved t h e t a b l e from there. . I t ' s s i l l y t o t a l k about t r e a t i n g i t as a s o r t of person. now t h a t you say t h a t . T h e r e a r e n ' t many o t h e r p l a c e s i n t h e house where i t would connect w i t h a l l t h e s a t e l l i t e s . Do you t h i n k t h e r e a r e o t h e r p l a c e s i n t h e house i t c o u l d l i v e ? Could moves between i t s t h r e e s a t e l l i t e s and t h e r e a r e f o u r t h i n g s you can read. i t ' s a l i t t l e c o m f o r t f e e l i n g . Go t o sleep. o b v i o u s l y . I i n 50 y e a r s ' t i m e people s t i l l s i t o t t a b l e s . i t ' s been 'We've g o t a work o f a r t i n l o o k down and t h e r e ' s a l i t t l e green l i g h t . t h a t would be q u i t e n i c e . L o r n a : T h a t ' s when we t a l k e d about moving i t. . b u t because t h e l i g h t s f l a s h . . D i c k : Yes. drop t h e bag and come i n here. A l l ' s w e l l w i t h t h e world. . D i c k : . i t ' s got a position. t h e i d e a perhaps t h a t .Id o n ' t know whether i t i s b e i n g p a r e n t s . T h a t ' s how Id e s c r i b e i t : 'We have t h i s work o f a r t and i t ' s l o c a t i n g s a t e l l i t e s . I t was t h e read-out r a t h e r t h a n t h e t a b l e t h a t Ifound q u i t e fun.Dick. . There's no o t h e r word f o r i t . r e a l l y . f a r obvious reasons. because i t t h e house.you p u t your hand over t h e t o p o f i t and i t has t a r e a d j u s t . where you c o u l d walk round i t . and Ie i t h e r glance aver i t o r l o o k a t it. And what k i n d o f c o n d i t i o n i s i t i n ? Lorna: I t ' s l o s t a come back and Ido t i d y up a b i t . Then i t becomes much more p a r t o f . ' Where i s t h e o b j e c t now? D i c k : I t ' s a t t h e end of o u r c o n s e r v a t o r y . You come i n . I f o u r houses c o n t a i n e d a l o t more equipment which i s more s c i e n t i f i c . b u t i t a l s o has t h e s a t e l l i t e read-out on t h e top. When you see a l l t h e space programmes. b u t you t h i n k . b u t i t i s . you l o o k a t i t . When you t a l k t o your f r i e n d s about t h i s o b j e c t . ' Has i t mode you t h i n k about t a b l e s i n a d i f f e r e n t woy? The n a t u r e of what t h e t a b l e ' s f o r ? L o r n a : Id o n ' t r e a l l y t h i n k so. Idrop L i z z y a t s c h o o l i n t h e morning and I those c e r t a i n s e t r o u t i n e s . ond you d o n ' t want t o u p s e t t h a t because you know i t ' s s c i e n t i f i c a l l y s e n s i t i v e . and ' l a s t ' was ever so l o t . t h e n It h i n k i t ' s much n i c e r t o have i t as p a r t o f t h e f u r n i t u r e t h a n as an i n s t r u m e n t you go over t o a w a l l and read. i t ' s an o b j e c t and i t ' s e l e c t r o n i c . W d i d n ' t use i t because you have t h i s read-out s l a p bang i n t h e m i d d l e of i t . And Ialways do i t b e f o r e I go t o bed. b u t never d i d I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g . i t g i v e s i t a sense o f b e i n g a l i v e . how do you d e s c r i b e when a l l t h e l i g h t s a r e o f f down here. W v e r y r a r e l y t a k e i t o u t s i d e . you c o u l d a c t u a l l y have a l l f s a r t s o f t h i n g s down t h e m i d d l e some o t h e r s c i e n t i f i c read-outs.GPS Table . automated. t h r e e s a t e l l i t e p o s i t i o n s and ' l o s t ' . you've g o t i t a l l t h e r e . I t ' s a t a b l e . Il o o k o u t o f t h e bedroom window and t h e r e i t i s . because Ican see i t s t r a i g h t down from t h e r e when we go t o bed So Ia c t u a l l y check i t more o f t e n t h a n It h o u g h t Id i d . j u s t t o check t h a t i t ' s s t i l l t h e r e f and l e t ' s see a s c r e e n ' . j u s t g o i n g over and l o o k l n g ? - i f you had t h a t GPS read-out and It h i n k t h a t would be g r e a t . So you go and check i t ? You f i n d y o u r s e l f L o r n a : Yes. . I t ' s q u i t e f u n . Last thing I do a t night. ' Isee i t more as a p e t .

Do you t h i n k t h i s t a b l e f a l l s i n t o t h e c a t e g o r y of t h e gadget? D l c k I t c o u l d do I~ e r s o n a l l vwould see ~t n o t as a oadaet b u t much more as an a e s t h e t l c t h l n g I t makes you t h l n k . D i c k : You mentioned t h a t p o i n t about suddenly h a v i n g t h a t sense o f ' I ' m a speck i n t h e u n i v e r s e ' . t h a t i t has t o be n e c e s s a r i l y f o r younger. t h a t y o u ' r e suddenly aware. Id o n ' t t h i n k because i t ' s g o t s a t e l l i t e t e c h n o l o g y i n i t . somethlng t h a t you l u s t e n l o y o r something functional? I I t ' s t h e sense t h a t you can go up an t h e satellite. B u t It h i n k t h a t because t h e y ' r e w i t h t h e i r f u r n i t u r e and t h e i r homes a l l t h e day. Because s h e ' s i n h e r s e v e n t i e s and l i s t e n s t o t h e r a d i o and reads l o t and s h e ' s v e r y much someone who would p u t a s p i r i t u a l t u r n on i t . o f r l e n d o r somebody ~ n t h e f a m l l v who would vou a l v e l t t o ond whv? L o r n a : I ' v e g o t nephews and n i e c e s who a r e m i d . L o r n a : It h i n k she would. t h o t you a r e t h l s t l n y speck on t h e p l a n e t D l d you show t h e o b j e c t t o o t h e r people? What was t h e l r reaction? Lorna They d l d n ' t n o t l c e t h a t ~t was a n y t h l n g different u n l e s s you p o l n t e d ~t o u t People would say What e l s e does ~t do?' as ~ f t h e y were e x ~ e c t l n at r l c k s o f some s o r t I f you had t o g l v e t h e o b j e c t t o somebody e l s e . your p a r e n t s a r e over i n S u f f o l k and r e t i r e d . D i c k : One o f t h e t h i n g s about t h e t o b l e i s t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t you b u i l d up w i t h i t d u r i n g t h e day. and i t d o e s n ' t have t o be i n a modern design. That wauld c e r t a i n l y i n t e r e s t m y mother. ' It h i n k s h e ' d f i n d i t q u i t e an experience. as you a r e never i n any o t h e r c ~ r c u m s t a n c eI n a day. Ican see h e r going up t o t h a t t a b l e and l o o k i n g a t i t . Ican imagine b o t h our p a r e n t s b e i n g i n t e r e s t e d i n a t a b l e l i k e t h a t . It h i n k i t would f i t i n more w i t h a more modern way o f l i f e . and you go and check ~t That ~t s l m p l y t e l l s you your p o s l t l o n I n t h e w o r l d 1 s n o t alwoys b r l l l l a n t l y u s e f u l . t h e y ' d be q u i t e f a s c i n a t e d by i t a l l .. .t w e n t i e s and t h e y would l o v e i t . You l i k e more o r g a n i c s t u f f . b a s i c a l l y t h e s t r e n g t h and a n g u l a r i t y .you were a t sea 1 1 1 = I . . . b u t Il i k e i t . t h e n l o o k i n g o u t down t a t h e M1 and t h e w i l d s o f L e i c e s t e r s h i r e and t h i n k i n g 'Mm. I t ' s a v e r y n i c e s i m p l e design. L o r n a : .Ti i I s ~t somethlng t h a t has an a e s t h e t l c function. and t h e y ' r e b o t h v e r y d i f f e r e n t . u n l e s s o f course. My p a r e n t s a r e farmers s t u c k o u t i n t h e w i l d s o f L e i c e s t e r s h i r e .

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D i d many of them know about e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c r o d i a t i o n ? Denis: The p u b l i c i s aware now t h a t t h e r e i s some k i n d of energy e m i t t e d from m o b i l e phones. . What would make i t o gadget? L i d o : I i t would bleep. t h i s i s f o r t h e o t h e r s a t e l l i t e r e c e i v e r . Or t h e time. Denis: T e c h n i c a l minded people and modern art-minded people. The o b j e c t was a way o f demonstrating t h e e f f e c t o f t h a t energy. t h i s i s f o r t h e TV. Whether i t ' s a GPS screen o r a m i n i TV screen. o r v i s i t o r s t o your home? e s p e c i a l l y t h e GPS. w Denis: I would l e t them f i n d o u t f o r themselves. f i t has t o d i s p l a y something t o be o p r o p e r gadget. I guess. Denis: R i g h t . be more complicated. w i t h some i t d i d n o t . he has t o s i t f o r t h r e e e hours. Just t h a t i t worked. maybe. L i d o : And Id o n ' t know how t o s w i t c h t h e TV on. t h e h u m i d i t y and t h e temperature. Only one So what does each o f these do? ( p o i n t i n g t o t h e 7 remote c o n t r o l s on t h e coffee t a b l e ) t h i s i s for the d i g i t a l s a t e l l i t e . I i t d i s p l a y e d . How would you f e e l i f more o b j e c t s i n t h e home hod t h i s k l n d o f i n t e l l e c t u a l o r o e s t h e t i c v o l u e os opposed t o b e i n g p u r e l y f u n c t i o n a l ? L i d a : IVe're c o m p l e t e l y d i f f e r e n t : Iwould buy something j u s t because i t l o o k s r e a l l y n i c e . and t h e n Im i g h t o f f e r some t i p s . I o u l d n ' t t e l l them anything. Iwould want t o know what t h e y d i d w i t h t h e o b j e c t . L i d o : I t l o o k s n i c e and i t ' s f u n . What i f you had something t h o t c o u l d measure e l e c t r o m a g n e t i c f i e l d s ? D i d you show t h e o b j e c t t o o t h e r people? What was t h e i r reaction? D e n i s : W e l l . . You have a gadget t h a t ' s a remote c o n t r o l f o r u s i n g t h e o t h e r remote D e n i s : Most of them w e r e n ' t i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e i n t e r n a l s of t h e o b j e c t . because n o t h i n g works w i t h me.t h a t d o e s n ' t make i t a gadget. people who a r e gadget maniacs. SO w e thought t h e o b j e c t h a t i t s f a v o u r i t e s . I f you viere t o pass t h i s o b j e c t t o someone else. d o i n g t h e GPS. Do you see t h e p a r a s i t e l i g h t as a gadget? D e n i s : Id o n ' t t h i n k i t ' s a gadget because i t d o e s n ' t r e a l l y do a n y t h i n g . . b u t I t h i n k t h e y f e l t j e a l o u s they h a d n ' t found o u t obout i t Everybody l o v e d t h e f a c t t h o t i f you p u t a hand on. People who l i k e d e s i g n ond unusual i t e m s would l i k e i t . r e a l l y . A l l gadgets t h a t r e s p e c t themselves have t o have a screen. f you know. what a d v i c e v ~ o u l dyou Denis: Because we f i g h t between us who's g o i n g t o have t h e remote. L i d a : I t would have t o show something more c o m p l i c a t e d . W i t h some o f t h e people i t worked. t h i s isr one o f t h e t w o fo video recorders.i n t e n s i t y of t h e energy coming from t h e m o b i l e phone was j u s t b e f o r e ond a l i t t l e b i t a f t e r i t s t a r t e d r i n g i n g D e n i s : I t d o e s n ' t have a screen. It h i n k i t ' s more o f a d e s i g n o b j e c t . What t h a t ' s c a l l e d t h e y ' r e n o t sure. Some pretended t h e y d i d n ' t l i k e i t . He has t h i s t h i n g about h i s gadgets. . and Ihave t h i s t h i n g about n o t wanting any gadgets. So we always f i g h t about how mony gadgets we can have. working away w i t h a mop. i t l i t up o r n o t . t h a t would be a b i g s t e p towards b e i n g a gadget. or p e t s . . and how many I w i l l throw away. t h i s i s for t h e other video recorder. t h i s i s for t h e s t e r e o and t h i s i s f o r e v e r y t h i n g . between f a m i l y members. Before w go anywhere. mixed r e a c t i o n s . A f t e r a week o r two. b u t Denis wouldn't.s o m e t h i n g energy. What k i n d of people do you t h i n k might l i k e on o b j e c t l i k e t h i s ? L i d a : People l i k e Denis. say. and i t worked w i t h electromagnetism. b u t t h e y know i t ' s some k i n d o f w e i r d e l e c t r o . D i d you g i v e o t e c h n i c a l explanation a t a l l ? Have any e l e c t r o n i c o b j e c t s i n your home c r e a t e d any unusual s i t u a t i o n s .

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t h e y d i d n ' t t a k e up much spoce on t h e h o r i z o n t a l p l a n e L i d a And maybe you c o u l d use l t as a lamp. as a r e a l lamp And more p a w e r f u l . and y o u ' r e n o t s u r e whether i t ' s something you m i g h t want. because now you can o n l y see t h a t ~t works. one t h a t you s h o u l d c h a r g e i t l e s s f r e q u e n t l y D e n i s And i t s shape i s n ' t t h e e a s l e s t shape t o have I n t h e house I t s h a u l d b e more v e r t i c a l t h a n h o r i z o n t a l Your o t h e r o b j e c t s w e r e n ' t l i k e t h a t . and t h a t ' s a l l D e n i s I t l o o k e d o b i t easy t o break I t d i d n ' t l o o k s t u r d y enough L i d a I t l o o k s expensive. s o you have t o r e n t i t N o t n e c e s s a r i l y I guess i t ' s about commitment t o a n o b j e c t Maybe t h e y would be e x p e n s i v e t o make. ' T h i s i s r e a l l y new. so you can t r y l t o u t I I 1 illl\llli D e n i s : And t h e n have t h e o p t i o n t o buy? Interested L i d a E x a c t l y You can say t o people.iI b u t t h e y w o n ' t work i t That would be a shame Most p e o p l e w i l l use an o b j e c t f o r 10. ~ t ' something new s D e n i s And t h e n you can deduct t h e r e n t money from t h e a c t u a l p r l c e I n t h e end d L i d a Well. so you have t o t r y i t f i r s t ' I t ' s n o t j u s t f u r n i t u r e . 20 p e r c e n t o f what i t can do I][IIII1I\ We've a l s o been o s k i n g p e o p l e i f t h e y m i g h t r e n t o b l e c t s l i k e t h e s e D e n i s What y o u ' r e s a y l n g r e a l l y 1 s t h a t i t would b e t o o expensive t o buy. It h i n k w e ' r e done D e n i s : So when a r e you h a v i n g y o u r n e x t p r o j e c t ? I I . t o t e l l you t h e t r u t h Llda What d i d you l i k e about t h e o b i e c t ? 1 the future Ic o u l d have v e r y many I d e a s on t h i s and o t h e r o b j e c t s Ok.

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This has that same thing because it does actually respond. it tends to go faster. It's not gadget-like at all. Some things really do affect it and other things hove no effect Some things seem to slow it down. how do you describe the object? It's really difficult to get the concept across . Most people just say 'Why would you do that?'.we used it os a proper choir rather than a curiosity If you're sick of thinking. probably more so since Sophie went back to Canado. Yes. it's pleased to see me. you can change your awareness to listening to what the chair's When we first had the chair. How about in relotion to your body7 Oh yes. unaccountably. Sometimes. shovers. different positions this room. Do you find yourself regularly checking on it? Yes. I just . If you stand close to it. not just becouse of the computer but because there's more activity even if the computer's Why do you think it's particularly active in that location? but the in off. but living room is where it always comes back to. It slows down if you touch the ontenna. But presented as it is. it's something completely different.you tell them it's a nipple chair ond they think of something really kinky. like a Furby or something like that. We've tried it everywhere. or moving around the object? to things thot ore going on. Either that or some big stereo system. So maybe it likes company.say it's recorders. it speeds up and you think 'Oh. I think thot affects it.Nipple Chair - Neil When you tolk to your friends. So you started to interpret its behaviour. ogoinst the window there. it didn't even have a switch. underneath it. in a sense Where is the object now? Why is it there? It's where it is now because I'm working at the desk . it settles down to almost nothing. We charge it whenever it needs it. and I notice pretty wickly if it's not working. but it can be interpreted. The charm of this chair is that it's disqualified from being in the Furby category because it's not presented as a gadget. They respond in a really rudimentary way. radios. we had about four people staying here in this tiny spoce and it seemed to slow it right down. When you come home at night. We've tried it with tape . Some people will soy things like Furby and the Tamogotchi ore gadgets and slightly gimmicky. There's no overhead power lines here. Putting it near the television only affects it when it storts up. I think so. The foster it gets. You're partly aware of it but ot the same time it's not really a distraction. perhaps. This is o pretty hot corner. It wouldn't be neorly as attractive if you could change the sensitivity. or progromme it to come on at different times or it had on alarm clock built into it. cameros. to see if it's ok. which is o bit suspicious. it takes o little while to settle down. I suppose it has the some thing as those interactive pets. . It's sort of aware. it'll just start really going and you can't Did you try any experiments? it near it. And if other people are around. but I don't know where the underground power lines ore. the more onxious it is. perhaps touching the ontenna underneath to see whether that would make any difference. ' Poor deluded person that I am. When Sophie phones up she alwoys wonts to hear the chair. I don't have to really check it because I'm owore of it anyway. There does seem to be one particular ~ositionthat it likes. and when you put it on the righthand side. It's completely conceoled When we first got it. It changes if you go near it. Hos it made you thlnk obout furniture in a different way7 Downstairs I think they've got a big-screen TV. Then you try and explain thot it's a bit of furniture which detects electromagnetic fields. It would just be another gadget.

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Why do you like gadgets? I don't know what it is. If we were to redesign the object. Gadgets seem so impersonal. With most gadgets. This seems to be different. I suppose it's that element of control over something. sad person that I am. about the noise that we're generating of various kinds. but I think yau would run the risk of turning it into something completely different. I think gadget people would want to be able ta programme the megacycles and stuff. Maybe I'd feel differently about this chair if I knew that there was more than one. If you buy an electronic organiser you think it"s going to transform your life. Maybe that's why it's a good thing to give to people who like gadgets? electronics into something. if I did buy any furniture. like it is getting excited or worried. maybe they would. does that become the main thing? I don't know of anything at the moment that is both a functional piece of furniture and has some other thing that it could do as well. because when it gets faster it sounds more urgent. I suppose it puts us in touch with these invisible changes which are happening. I do think of it as having this little personality. Is there a place for objects like this in people's lives? I would give it to somebody who I think would appreciate it. but because it's a chair that you have to feed. I guess I just respond to it on a stupid level. if it was mass-produced. But I would have thought one of the big things about electronic gadgets is the interface. becoming much more complex. so that you can form a different kind af relationship. how would that change the chair? It would be very different if you just had the vibration of the nipples without the noise. all these interfering signals which come from different things. Yes. I like that the workings of it are a mystery. Quite what it is I want when I buy a gadget. who would you give it ! I would like to keep it like this. I don't know. I wouldn't want to put any kind of interface on to it. but none of the reasons that I like this chair has anything ta do with any of the reasons I like gadgets. I'd want to What kinds of people might want to own an object like this? I like the chair. Has the experience of looking after the object had an effect on the way you think about electromagnetic waves? Yes. It's that cat thing again: you wouldn't give your cat to just anybody to look after. but all it does is remind you how disorganised your life really is. to customise it in some way. living conditions. I know about electromagnetic waves . . If it had no sound at all. What's attractive about it is that it gives you information about our environment. Well. because you know it's not going to give you what you want. what recommendations would you make. a microsecand after you've bought them you regret it. but it's not trying to be a gadget. Perhaps it would be different if it was a chair that you just had to plug in to the mains. So many things are using electromagnetic I don't think gadgety people would like it. you hove to plug it in every couple of days.there's this whole network. It might as well be made out of grey plastic. There's not a big electronic bulge sticking out or any evidence of wires or anything You could do that. or how would you like to redesign it? this whole complex of interchange of energy that's going on and we don't really know anything about it. but I wouldn't give the chair to a person like me I really think so.I think this object would encourage me. and this doesn't have one. It's definitely a manufactured object. If you had to give the object to somebody else.

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Surely... developing the technology. holder's address from every address in the country.2001.Fr.430 Pm 1 I've always thought that tv detector vans never really made sense. to spend all that time and money. Jul 20. . to glve you rne few remaining addresses that don't have a licence? Then they could just nlp round there and listen at the front door or something? Michael 4 X i f I .