Radiators are unsightly, sometimes noisy beasts unbefitting a refined domestic space. But heating technology has advanced to the point where that no longer needs to be the case. For his Rethinking the Radiator concept, the New York–based designer Rochus Jacob used cutting-edge technology to transform the heater into a standalone object resembling a sculptural campfire.
“In the past, radiators had to be placed underneath the window to establish a heat wall and create a natural circulation of warm air,” Rochus Jacob tells Co.Design. “Well-insulated rooms liberate the radiator from its fixed position, which opens up new opportunities to think about the product and its role in the household.” Freed from their traditional places against a wall, smaller, lighter, and more efficient heaters can take unconventional shapes--such as an arrangement of sticks that you can pick up and install anywhere in the house.
By being a conspicuous element in the room, the design is meant to draw users’ attention to their energy use, which can be lowered by sliding the green button down. The wood-and-plastic exterior conceals a copper-based heat exchanger, the same efficient technology used to quickly cool down desktop computers and laptops. In addition to slashing energy consumption, the boiler requires much less water. “I wanted to make the object desirable,” Jacob says, “hoping that it would help people to make the decision to buy state-of-the art radiator technology, while providing them the freedom to integrate the object into their home.”