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Want To Switch On This Lamp? You Have To Pay It First

When you flip on a lamp, it’s so convenient that it feels free. You probably aren’t thinking that about 10% of your household energy bill comes from lighting, or the ecological toll of utility companies burning gas to keep your lights on.

[Photo: Moak Sudio]
But what if you had to spend real money to turn on your light–every time? That’s the idea of the Dina lamp, by Moak Studio. With a slotted shade that resembles a piggybank, you drop in a medium sized coin, like a nickel, quarter, or euro. Then because these coins are conductive, they can fall into just the right spot to complete the lamp’s internal circuitry, bridging the electricity necessary to turn on the light. What better reminder that lights cost something? And don’t worry–once you want to turn the light off, you can pull out a knob to get your coin back.

[Photo: Moak Sudio]

Dina is a whimsical idea, much like the other two projects that Moak is showing off at the Promote Design DIN Exhibition for Milan Design Week. A Bluetooth speaker called the Hilo forces you to change the volume, not by pushing a button, but by pulling out a long knob. This interaction changes the music’s decibels much like a slide whistle changes pitch.

The studio’s third project is another lamp called Volé, which features a wind vane on top. By blowing or flicking the vane, your body’s own force produces light. It’s unclear if there’s literally a generator inside, or the wind vane is more a metaphor for turning your body’s energy into light. In any case, all three projects are provocative pokes at the status quo of interactive, industrial design, reminding us that there’s really no good reason that every lamp or speaker needs to work the same old way.

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