Imagine if every time you switched on the lights, Rorschachian patterns started dancing on the wall, gently chiding you for using energy. Would you be more vigilant about flipping off the lights?
That’s the hope of Celine Marcq, a textiles designer at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, in London. Her master’s thesis, Inconspicuous Matter, is wallpaper she describes as “ambient displays” that can visualize electrical energy usage. Turn on your floor lamp, and the wall springs to life — a playful, if stylized, entreat to mind your carbon footprint.
“[E]lectrical energy access is, for most people, taken for granted,” Marcq says on her Web site. “[T]he aim of this project is to visualize electrical energy flows, consequently demanding the viewers” attention and potentially generating their awareness.?
There’s no doubt that it generates awareness, but perhaps not the right kind. It’s too pretty. We’d leave the lights on all the time.