Dezeen Magazine

Dan Adlešič's absurd electronics respond to theatrical behaviour

Dutch Design Week 2015: Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Dan Adlešič has created a collection of purposefully ridiculous electronic products that only work in response to unconventional movements.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
Dan Adlešič's lamp casts soft light which only becomes visible in the dark

The seven objects take inspiration from children's toys – described by Adlešič as "totems of fiction" – and have been designed to be a playful alternative to "standardised electronics".

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
The designer said that the lamp was inspired by the glowing lights that show on electronics at night

Several of the pieces are plugs that require user engagement in order to provide electricity, responding to actions like rolling a foam cube or looking into an eyeball-shaped sensor.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
The dinosaur lights up when electricity is turned on

"This exploration emerged from my experiences in improvised theatre and being deeply interested in electronic objects and their interfaces," the designer told Dezeen.

"In this work, I attempt to connect the two, creating theatrical interfaces for everyday objects. Blurring the line between fiction and reality."

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
Adlešič's plugs require the user to interact with them to work

"Since working with electronics is becoming increasingly accessible, I find myself able to create fictional moments with real objects in real space, rather than through illusions that create virtual realms," he added.

Another plug is triggered when shouted at, or if its plastic spring is jiggled. The standard indication light has been replaced by a dinosaur that illuminates when electricity is on.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
A jewellery box "opens" when keys are placed in its hand

Also included is a mirror that only shows a reflection when activated by dancing in front of it, while a lamp casts soft light that only becomes visible at the dark – apparently inspired by lights on electronics.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
When metal keys are placed in the toy hand the safe uncrumples, and allows goods to be accessed

"Electronic devices strongly narrate our behaviour and their interfaces often offer very narrow scenarios of use," Adlešič said.

The movements of Adlešič's jewellery box are demonstrated in this movie

"I believe electricity could be used in a much wider and poetic manner. There might be a limitation to technology, but there are no limits to how it can be applied."

Adlešič's jewellery box is composed of soft foam that has been crumpled shut. When metal keys are placed in the toy hand at the base of a rod, the safe descends, uncrumples, and allows goods to be accessed.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
Adlešič's foam cube plug is triggered when it is rolled

"I use improvisational techniques from theatre in my design process," the designer said. "I play with a library of specific objects I've found and collected, and materials I've made in order to design.

"For me, play is a tool for experimentation that leads to invention," he added.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
Rendering showing a standard power lamp that been replaced with a light-up dinosaur

The products were shown at the Design Academy Eindhoven as part of Dutch Design Week 2015, which took place from 17 to 25 October 2015.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
Dan Adlešič's mirror reflects in response to movement

Other graduate projects on display included Jason Page's alternative golf suits, Bastiaan de Nennie's virtual hybrid objects, and Vera de Pont's Pop Up collection of cut-out clothing.

Absurd electronics by Dan Adlešič
A detail of Adlešič's movement-reactive mirror

Electrical engineering is by Sami Sabik, and photography is by Klemen Ilovar.