Voodoo chairs act like a Voodoo doll, where the movements of one person in a chair effect the experience of the other person. Design by Megan Elisabeth Dinius, Timothée Fuchs, Antoine Furstein, and Bastien Girschig

Mr Time by Léa Pereyre, Claire Pondard, and Tom Zambaz is a clock that mimics your body movement, giving you the sensation that you can alter time.

The Windblower fan moves with the power of your breath. Design by Victor Férier, Ludovica Gianoni, and Daniele Walker.

Ostinati is a family of gravity-defying containers. Designed by Iris Andreadis, Nicolas Nahornyj, and Jérôme Rütsche

Open Delicious Bells and hear a sound related to what you are about to eat. Design by Caroline Buttet, Louisa Carmona, Margaux De Giovannini, and Antonio Quirarte

Il Portinaio by Anne-Sophie Bazard, Tristan Caré, and Léonard Golay welcomes visitors to the exhibition via an automated curtain.

The Chiaroscuro lamp, designed by Léa Pereyre, Claire Pondard, and Tom Zambaz,
is a lamp turned on or off by touching its shadow.

Broken Mirror by Guillaume Markwalder and Aurélia von Allmen uses a flexible reflective membrane that only shows a reflection when a person is directly in front of it.

When touched, the Cactunes by Pierre Charreau, Martin Hertig, and Pauline Lemberger, surprise you with a giggle.

In Bonnie & Clyde, the spoon is connected to the cup and follows the cup when it is pulled across a table. Design by Romain Cazier, Anna Heck, Leon Laskowski

Co.Design

A Smart Home With A Sense Of Humor

The Delirious Home, an experimental project at Milan Design Week, offers a comical take on connected living.

A group of French industrial and interactive design students from Lausanne's ECAL school are toying with a compelling question: As our homes become more intelligent, will the machines eventually get a mind of their own?

Their experimental answer is the Delirious Home, an exhibit that opened this week at Milan Design Week. The Delirious Home, is laden with sensors and responsive gadgets to mimic the connected home of the future, but here the products aren't simply meant to streamline your life. Instead, they offer a humorous turn on how we relate to our objects. "Technology has become smart but without a sense of humor, let alone quirky unexpected behavior," the students write about the project.

So instead of a Nest Thermostat, there’s an analog fan that only works when you puff air into the opposite end. Instead of the Quirky Egg Minder tray, there’s the "Bonnie & Clyde," a spoon that chases after its teacup. And instead of the Parrot, which nags you to water your plants, there are soft cacti that giggle when touched, like a Tickle Me Elmo desert plant.

By now, small sensors are affordable and easily embedded in inanimate objects, allowing ECAL’s students a range of options for bringing their imaginations to life with quirky objects like the Chiaroscuro lamp, which was inspired by Peter Pan’s shadow and requires the user to touch the lamp's silhouette to turn it on. "We better consider this Utopian ideal as a comedy and draw inspiration from it!" reads a brochure, by way of explanation.

Delirious Home will be on display at Milan Design Week 2014 until April 13, 2014.

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