Abigail Doan

DIE ELECTRIC: Designs For Better Energy Use

by , 09/05/07

Die Electric, Die Electric Plugged, Design for better energy use, Cord Shelf, Designer Scott Amron, Design for zero-energy consumption, Design against energy use

Indie designer Scott Amron is currently putting a visual twist on household energy consumption with the launch of his Die Electric product line. As a freelance electrical engineer, conceptual artist, inventor, and the founding principal of Amron Experimental, Amron’s work aims to visually demonstrate how reliant we have become on the ubiquitous wall outlet and its seemingly endless supply of energy.

According to the Department of Energy, the average American household consumes at minimum 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. The staggering amount of power that a typical family consumes depends in the end on how many appliances there are and the amount of time they are in use. In the spirit of ‘reduce the juice use’ and ‘change begins at home’, how might we be encouraged to reconsider our household appliance usage, get by with less, or simply put a stopper once and for all to the source of our electricity consumption needs?

Die Electric’s PLUGGED: cork outlet plug, is a possible solution in its zero-consumption or ‘design to encourage better energy use’ principles. PLUGGED serves as ready-made insulating material and sculptural gadget to prevent outlet electricity leaks. Like Amron’s other plug-based wall pieces (SHELF, GROW PLUG, SINGLE VASE AC, etc.), PLUGGED is both conceptually and practically a groundbreaker.

+ Die Electric

$45.00 from Die Electric

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9 Comments

  1. veter October 8, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    The best environmental use for this product is producing child proofing devices by recycling of wine corks which go to the trash in huge numbers.
    About the concept of a reminder… maybe one for an art exchibit… but mass marketing would be furthering consumerism

  2. Candull from Die Electr... October 3, 2007 at 10:31 am

    [...] lightbulbs doesn’t mean a candle won’t do the job just as well! Our last installment of the Die Electric collection is the cheeky and low-tech Candull candle-light, which replaces the common [...]

  3. Inhabitat » CANDL... October 1, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    [...] doesn’t mean a candle won’t do the job just as well! Our last installment of the Die Electric collection is the cheeky and low-tech Candull candle-light, which replaces the common [...]

  4. JS September 7, 2007 at 11:50 am

    really the only “irking” thing, probably to the other posters, is the “gadget’s” inherent design stupidity.

  5. Abigail Doan September 5, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    I feel the need to respond to today’s comments re: Die Electric’s PLUGGED cork outlet plug as I believe that I may have misrepresented the intention of the artist/designer. All of your comments are well-taken and are certainly very accurate from a household safety and consumer need or pricepoint perspective. What may not have come across in my write-up is that fact that Scott Amron considers his pieces to be essentially part of an ‘online exhibit’ and one person’s investigation of his own energy consumption habits.

    I feel that I must defend Scott’s gadgets on this front as they really are meant to irk you a bit (a whole lot) and draw attention to some engrained household practices. Yes, I agree, that a childproof outlet safety cover is a much better route to go as a parent or home dweller, but I also don’t mind when someone tries to push the envelope via design in order to get us to rethink those little black holes in the wall. Duchamp’s toilet ready-made has never been very popular either, but then again it did get us to consider the inevitable future of trash.

    If you have the time and the patience, read on for an interview with Amron and Josh Spear – http://www.joshspear.com/index.php?tag=interior . (You must scroll down on the link in order to read the full interview).

    “Like most other people in their right mind, I believe that the climate is changing and that mankind is largely responsible. At the same time, like many other people I wasn’t aware of just how drastic the problem was, and I didn’t know what I could do about it (beyond complaining) until I saw An Inconvenient Truth. Yeah, I went there. Whatever we may think about Al Gore (or Melissa Etheridge), that movie got a lot of people off of their asses. After seeing the movie, I went to its website and read the list of ways that I could cut my personal energy consumption. I was amazed to find that even when an appliance is turned off, it might still be drawing electricity if you leave it plugged in. According to Mr. Gore & Co., leaving things plugged in when they are off accounts for “5 percent of total domestic energy consumption.” Yikes. But after you’ve unplugged your appliances, what are you supposed to put in the unsightly empty socket?

  6. jack73t September 5, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    So much of the green movement seems to just be “game playing”.

  7. Patrick September 5, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    This doesn’t break ground either conceptually or practically (at least Die Electric’s plug-in toothbrush holder has a use). This is just a novel toy. It seems completely antithetical to the “zero-consumption” theory that you would want such a thing, unless you somehow feel the need for such a daily reminder not to plug in a hair dryer. A post-it would work just as well.

  8. Chris September 5, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Normally you guys have some neat stuff, but these things look HUGELY dangerous… there’s no way to know how the electricity will behave within the cork (being natural, it has all kinds of salts, and probably a bit of residual moisture, all of which conduct electricity) making quite the fire hazard.

    I can’t see this being government approved…?

  9. Ben N September 5, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    $45 for half a cork and a plug? For a slightly more dangerous version of an outlet safety cover? Really? Really? At least some of the other products have a function and involved more than a minute of labor.

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